by Al Myers
After sharing my idea of Hanging Dumbbell Presses, I was wondering if anyone else had ideas like this?? I know someone else has to have some “secret training idea or tip” that may benefit another lifter. Hey – we are all here to share!!! Don’t keep those secrets to yourself! So I’m going to stage a little competition to get those secrets out. All you need to do is submit a story on your idea and how it benefits your training. This doesn’t have to be about some unique piece of equipment – it may just be a training idea or a training tip. The more original the better. I will then run these stories in the USAWA Daily News here on the website and after all submitted stories are ran, leave it up to USAWA membership to vote on the one they like best!! You do not need to be a USAWA member to submit a story, but do in order to place a vote. I will accept stories up till this coming Sunday night (January 30th) so I can have them ready for the website the next week.
Rules of the competition: Stories must be between 500-1000 words, and a picture must be submitted that goes with your story. The DEADLINE for submitting a story is Sunday, January 30th. Please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
To spice up the competition a little, the winner will receive a set of my Hanging Dumbbell Handles!!
by Al Myers
Al Myers demonstrating a Hanging Dumbbell Press, using a special made dumbbell handle that attaches to a chain that suspends the dumbbells at shoulder height.
A few months ago I started a training program utilizing seated dumbbell presses with the hope that they would be less stressful on my shoulder joints than straight bar shoulder presses. Years ago I did LOTS of dumbbell presses and really liked them. The natural rotation of pressing dumbbells feels better on your shoulders than a straight bar. Pressing dumbbells also makes you very aware of shoulder strength imbalances. With a bar, some of these “imbalances” can be compensated for with the stronger shoulder – but with a dumbbell that weakness is EXPOSED very quickly! I started this dumbbell training program after Worlds in which I was VERY disappointed with my dumbbell press at that meet. I have been able to “hide” my weak left arm pressing strength for quite a while by just using my right in competitions that require a lift to be done one handed. But at Worlds the Scots pulled a mean trick on me – and put in place a “meet rule” that required both one arm lifts to be performed with alternate arms. I really wanted to snatch with my right, so the dumbbell press was “left” to my “left”. Needless to say, I did less for a max standing than what I USED to do for 5 reps seated.
This is a picture of the Hanging Dumbbell Handle.
I started the program out easy with light dumbbells and progressed a little every week. My shoulders felt great. No front delt shoulder pain. However, soon I reached a point when the dumbbell poundages got heavy enough that I remembered another problem that dumbbell pressing causes. My elbows started hurting!!! My elbow tendinitis flared back to full force like the days when I was bench pressing heavy. Back then, it was a standard practice of mine to ice my elbows for an hour after every bench training session. I don’t really want to go back to doing that now – just for dumbbell pressing! The act of hammer curling or cleaning the dumbbells to my shoulders was the culprit here. I was about ready to give up on dumbbell pressing because of this – but then I came up with a BETTER WAY!
I decided to make a “special” dumbbell handle that could be hung suspended overhead from my rack at the seated shoulder height. This way I could hang the dumbbell using both hands – thus taking out the part of the lift that was causing me the elbow pain that seemed unnecessary. Now with the dumbbells already hanging, I just “take my seat” and start pressing! I also feel a lot safer because if for any reason I would lose control of the dumbbells they would be “caught” by the chain and not do any damage to the floor or myself! I have never heard of read of anyone else making a dumbbell handle like this so I want to share this idea. Someone else may already have done this, so I’m not going to make any claim to this idea. That’s not my point. If it would help someone else experiencing this same problem as myself and this idea would help them – that is enough for me. The handle was very easy to make, and hopefully, will help build up my dumbbell press once again.