My name is Graham Hicks and I am 34 years old from Morecambe. I work full time as an Engineer at BAE Systems and I also offer online coaching for Strongmen and Powerlifters.
I have been doing Strongman since I was 25 years old and began competing in the u105kg weight category. Over time I slowly transitioned to a open weight Strongman weighing in at around 160kg!
After 10 years of hard work in 2019 I was crowned Britain’s Strongest Man which was a lifetime goal, and I also hold the biggest UK total with 1100kgs in Powerlifting.
My favourite lift and the one I am most known for is the log press. I believe I’ve really mastered the technique for my body as well as built strong shoulders and triceps. In competition I have logged 214kg and in training 220kg, and through this I have also helped others transform and improve their log press technique.
In this article, I will highlight 5 tips for the log press that I think could be beneficial, especially if you are new to it.
Some people stand too narrow and some too wide. The narrower you stand the less stability you will have at the top/lockout of the lift, but you will have better leg drive as opposed to a wider stance where you will be more stable at lockout, but you will lose some leg drive power.
I stand somewhere in between to get a good balance between leg drive and lockout stability.
Always put your hands in the middle of the log handles. Some people tend to place them further away from their body to get better leverages, but this isn't advisable as you then find yourself having to adjust your hand position when the log is up on your chest.
There's a great many variation of logs to press with, and not all logs will be suitable to have hand placement away from you, so I do advise hands in the middle not just for technique but also consistency if/when you use a different log.
When you are standing over the log about to pick up and lap it, you want to be as close to the log as possible with your shins pressed up against it. The further you are away from the log, even if it is only an inch or two, the heavier the pickup will feel, but also the position of the log on your lap will also be less optimal ready for the clean.
The Clean Position
After you have cleaned the log and have it up on your chest, make sure get your chin up as high as possible so the log sits against your throat with your head back as far as possible. This allows you to get the weight of the log over your mid foot as much as possible ready for the press.
When you are about to break the log off the floor on the pickup, I would breath in and brace then lap the log. Breath out when the log is on your lap then another deep breath in and brace before cleaning the log. Hold your breath until the log is up on your chest and breath out. Before pressing take another deep breath, brace again and press.
Alternatively you can hold your breath during the clean and press without taking another break between the two if it feels better, but there is the risk of going light headed, which can be dangerous at heavier weights, so I wouldn't recommend the second breathing technique for heavy/max lifts or log for reps events.