Biomechanics of the log press vs. the clean and jerk
The log press is a complex full body movement that is typically utilized in strongman and crossfit training. Unlike the clean and jerk (as in weightlifting) the log lift is broken up into two primary movement phases. In phase one the log is retrieved from the ground and rested on the thigh in the squat position, next the lifter rolls the log up the body with triple hip, knee and back extension and finished with an overhead press.
Despite the growing dissemination of crossfit and increased prevalence of strength athletes there are no studies to date investigating the biomechanics of the log lift. Considering these things, the authors set out to determine the biomechanical characteristics of the log lift versus the clean and jerk, and found that the log lift demonstrated greater hip and trunk range of motion but less peak bar power and velocity when compared to the clean and jerk.
Six male strongman athletes with at least two years of strongman experience were included in this cross-sectional descriptive design study. Athletes completed both the clean and jerk and log press based of their measured 1RM. Motion capture markers were placed over the third metatarsal, lateral malleoli, lateral femoral condyle, greater trochanter, anterior superior iliac spine and superior border of the acromion process.
Significant kinematic differences were shown throughout the two lifts except the overhead press component. It was found that peak bar velocity was significantly higher in the clean and jerk (2.18 m/ s) versus the jerk/ push press (1.82 m/ s) suggesting that the implement diameter changes the mechanics of the press. Furthermore the clean and jerk generated significantly more (64%) peak power output. The authors speculate that the lack of deformation characteristics which offer “spring” as is present in a weightlifting bar may account for this. The log press did however exhibit greater variability in the kinematic range of motion. During the log movement there was greater hip and trunk flexion/extension than in the clean and jerk.
Considering these findings, the authors conclude that the log press would be implemented in athletes who were not proficient in the complexity of the clean and jerk, needed to focus on hip extension and whom prefer a neutral grip.
> From: Winwood et al., Int J Sports Sci Coach 10 (2016) 869-886. All rights reserved to Multi-Science Publishing Co Ltd. Click here for the Pubmed summary.