“The Press of Victor Kurentsov”
R.A. Roman, M.S. Shakirzyanov
The Press, the Snatch, the Clean and Jerk
Moscow, FiS, 30 -31:19
Translated by Andrew Charniga, Jr.©
In the starting position prior to lifting the barbell to the chest, the athlete places his feet such that the distance between the heels is equal to the width of the foot. The vertical projection of the bar is through the metatarso - phalangeal joints. The shins are touching the bar. The trunk is straight and inclined to the horizontal to an angle of 55°. The hips are significantly higher than the knees. The head is tilted backwards slightly. The shoulders are over the bar (figure 1).
V. Kurentsov power cleans the barbell to his chest (figures 1, 2). He places his feet at shoulder width after recovering from the half squat (figures 3,4). The legs and trunk are straight; the vertical projection of the center of gravity of the barbell is over the middle of the foot.
Upon adopting the starting position for the press, the athlete “tenses” and shifts the pelvis forward a little (by approximately 5 cm). This slightly bowed position is how the sportsman will press. The barbell is lowered by 4 cm and its center of gravity shifts towards the heels. The elbows are in front of the bar; the forearms are in a relatively vertical position forming an angle of 45°; the head is tilted backwards slightly. The athlete is ready to press and is waiting for the signal (figure 5, position 5).
Kurentsov shifts the pelvis backwards (by 5 cm) and straightens up after receiving the signal (figure 6). The barbell, lying on his chest, is raised by 6 cm and then is “picked up” by the hands through their energetic extension at the shoulder. The barbell has been raised 1 cm. The barbell is being lifted vertically (figure 6, position 6).
The energetic pressure of the arms against the bar forces the shoulders down and back in the form an arc. The athlete shifts the pelvis forward to maintain his balance. The elbows are in front of the bar. Further straightening and, consequently, the lifting of the barbell becomes difficult when the elbow joints form an angle of about 90° (figure 7).
Kurentsov shifts the pelvis forward a little (by 3 cm) and leans backward to lessen the load on the arms. The arms straighten forcefully in the elbow joints. The head remains in its prior position. The barbell is lifted upward and slightly backwards (figure 8, position 8). The athlete pushes the trunk and head forward; he shifts the pelvis backward when the arms are almost straight. The barbell continues to be elevated almost vertically (figure 9).
Kurentsov Press Trajectory
Having finished straightening the arms and trunk, the sportsman “fixes” the barbell (figures 10, 11). The barbell shifts in the same direction as the chest when Kurentsov shifts it forward at the end of the exercise (figures 9-11).
The athlete raises the barbell 49 cm during the press. Kurentsov sharply “separates” the barbell from his chest. The barbell reaches a speed of 1.6 m/sec at barbell separation. This was the highest “separation” speed recorded of all the athletes in all of the weight classes.
Kurentsov’s press is a speed press. What distinguishes his press from other athletes is that the sportsman generates such a barbell speed not by the preliminary lowering of the chest (the barbell is only 4 cm below where it would be in a vertical stance), but by a very short and rapid shifting of the pelvis backwards (by 5 cm) and straightening the trunk with a simultaneous “energetic” inclusion of the arms in the movement; then, without slowing down Kurentsov “picks up” the barbell with full force.