The Sots press is a fairly recent (as far as these things go) exercise, named after great Russian weightlifter Viktor Sots (pictured). If you were watching top-level Olympic weightlifting in the early 1980s, chances are you’ve seen him on the platform.
Despite its relative newness, the Sots press is little more than a combination of two well-known exercises: the squat and the overhead press. It’s a great mix.
Performing the Sots press
It’s a fairly simple affair, consisting of 3 basic steps :
- clean the kettlebell
- squat down (as deep as possible)
- press the bell (still squatting)
Things to bear in mind
- The ‘squat down’ phase is simply a Front Squat. Pull yourself into the hole using your hip flexors, rather than just allowing yourself to fall into it.
- Once you’re in the hole, make sure you’re tight (particularly abs and glutes).
- Maintain eye contact with the bell as you press it.
- If you find the weight of the kettlebell too much, simply fall over and drop it. From a safety point of view, providing you have good stability in the squat, this is a particularly safe exercise. If your squat isn’t up to par, don’t even think about this one.
Punch Gym‘s Anthony DiLuglio demonstrates [.wmv, 3.2mb] the Alternating (or See-Saw) Sots Press in his latest newsletter. Well worth a look.
The first step mentioned above – clean the kettlebell – is a relatively simple matter once you have mastered the Swing. If you haven’t got to this stage, or you’re not yet comfortable with the Clean, get to that point before trying this exercise.