Are you able to really feel like a badass once you carry heavy issues up and over your head?
If so, then you definately’ve come to the proper place!
This is your one-stop store for studying all the things it’s essential find out about the overhead press, whether or not you’re…
- Looking to develop your higher body and shoulder strength
- Hoping to enhance your shoulder mobility
- Recovering from a lower-body harm and searching for a approach to nonetheless get some positive aspects in the fitness center
- Searching for an exercise that may pay dividends in your different training (or your Muay Thai periods!)
… or just interested in learn how to safely add the overhead press to your training program.
In this text, you’ll be taught the advantages of the overhead press, learn how to safely follow overhead urgent (even for those who’re utilizing various kinds of gear), and learn how to stop widespread method errors.
What Is an Overhead Press, Anyways?
When you do an overhead press, you’re transferring a weight from chest degree up and over your head by straightening your arm(s). Or in different phrases, urgent a weight towards the ceiling and away out of your body. An overhead press might be executed from kneeling, supine, seated, and standing positions.
Also referred to as the army press, the strict press, and even merely the press, the overhead press is a compound higher body motion. (A compound motion works a number of muscle tissue or muscle teams without delay.) While it could look like it is solely an arm and shoulder exercise — and it does work these areas very properly, particularly with regards to your triceps and lats — it additionally targets the chest, again, and core muscle tissue. And for those who’re urgent from a standing place, the extra engagement of your glutes, quads, and ft means you’re getting a full-body exercise.
Benefits of Overhead Pressing
Beyond its potential to work a ton of muscle teams in a single go, the overhead press comes with a bunch of different advantages, together with:
- Enhancing your higher body strength and energy, which can carry over to different lifts and total strength training capabilities.
- Improving efficiency in a number of sports activities (like baseball, Muay Thai, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu).
- Strengthening your potential to push up from the flooring to get right into a standing place, hoist that Pyrex dish as much as the prime shelf of your cabinet, or energy your baggage up into an overhead bin on an airplane.
- Helping develop highly effective shoulders that pop in tank tops.
Pressing can be a good way to evaluate your potential to create full-body stress. If you’re feeling unstable otherwise you’re scuffling with kind, you are able to do a body scan from the floor as much as consider the place you might be dropping that stress, after which goal some areas for enchancment.
Plus, there’s only a particular form of pleasure and energy that comes once you start lifting heavy issues overhead!
Now that you understand why the overhead press is so essential in your training, I’m certain you’re tremendous excited to learn to do it correctly. But first, I need to rapidly contact on a couple of stuff you want to have the ability to do earlier than you’ll be able to press safely.
Before You Press: Mobility Check
Before you start urgent weight overhead, it’s essential have sufficient shoulder mobility to make sure you can transfer by the full vary of movement safely. Here are three questions to contemplate previous to urgent.
Can you progress by the full vary of movement with out ache?
This is the very first thing to judge for those who’re excited about working in your overhead press. Here are the two actions to attempt:
- Raise your arms up out of your sides (lateral elevate) till they’re straight overhead.
- Raise your arms towards the entrance (full shoulder flexion) till they’re straight overhead (with out bending your elbows).
<p>If you'll be able to’t elevate your arms 180 levels out of your sides or entrance with out ache or bending your elbows, then working in your mobility first earlier than transferring onto overhead urgent is finest. A few exercises that could be useful right here embody:</p>
<li>Arm raises to aspect</li>
<li>Kettlebell arm bar</li>
<li>Kettlebell shoulder twist</li>
<h4>Do you wrestle with shoulder impingement?</h4>
<p>Shoulder impingement could cause ache in addition to a decreased vary of movement in the shoulder joint. While having impingement doesn’t essentially imply you'll be able to’t follow your overhead press, for those who’re scuffling with ache or restricted mobility, I encourage you to have your shoulder mobility assessed by a mobility coach, physiotherapist, or certified coach earlier than including the press to your strength training program. Being cleared for the motion by an skilled — after which consciously working in your shoulder mobility earlier than you follow your stability and management with urgent actions — might assist stop future points or accidents.</p>
<p>(<strong>Note:</strong> If you’re recovering from a lower-body harm, the press can change into your new finest buddy. It’s an excellent motion to follow to develop higher body strength, and since you are able to do it in quite a lot of positions [e.g., seated press], you'll be able to work round many accidents. However, be cautious to not overdo it. If you’re not in the correct place, particularly for those who’re compounding improper place with a high quantity of reps or a heavier weight, you'll be able to trigger shoulder impingement. No one needs that! Listen to your body, and ensure your mobility is there first — even when it’s tempting to dive in immediately.)</p>
<h4>Are your pec muscle tissue tight?</h4>
<p>Pectoralis muscle flexibility is vital to securely performing the overhead press. If your chest is just too tight, your vary of movement could also be restricted, which can make it difficult to finish the motion with correct kind. If you lie in your again and prolong your palms out to your sides, palms up, and really feel a variety of stretching in your chest, you in all probability have tight pecs.</p>
<p>Work in your flexibility by including some chest stretches into your training routine as motion prep. The kettlebell arm bar or some band mobility exercises can be nice.</p>
<p>Alright, now that we’ve lined the mobility piece, let’s take a look at learn how to do an overhead press!</p>
<h2>How to Do a One-Arm Overhead Press with a Kettlebell</h2>
<p>As I'm a kettlebell teacher, kettlebells are (as you will have guessed!) my jam. They’re nice for each newcomers and extra superior lifters as a result of there are such a lot of choices for dimension, grip, and weight. Plus, the offset heart of mass of a bell makes it a fantastically difficult instrument to make use of, no matter expertise degree. That’s why we’re going to start by taking a look at how precisely to do a kettlebell overhead press! (I’ll cowl learn how to adapt the urgent motion based mostly on the kind of weight you need to use subsequent.)</p>
<p>You’ll must know learn how to carry out a kettlebell clear earlier than you are able to do a kettlebell overhead press.</p>
<h3>How to Do a One-Arm Kettlebell Overhead Press</h3>
<li>Start in a standing place together with your ft shoulder-width aside (or barely narrower). The kettlebell needs to be sitting a few foot in entrance of you.</li>
<li>Clean the bell to the rack place. (If you do not know learn how to clear but, you'll be able to “cheat clean” by helping the kettlebell to the rack together with your free hand.) Your wrist needs to be utterly straight, forming a straight line together with your forearm.</li>
<li>Imagine spreading stress by your entire body. Engage your core, tighten your quads, and squeeze your glutes. Your gaze needs to be straight forward, together with your backbone impartial.</li>
<li>Roll your shoulders again and down.</li>
<li>Take a breath in, after which in your exhale, press upward from the rack place.</li>
<li>As you press, pull your shoulder blades again and collectively barely as you squeeze your glutes.</li>
<li>Keep your wrist straight (impartial) and knuckles pointed up such as you’re going to punch by the ceiling. Your forearm ought to keep perpendicular to the flooring (vertical) throughout the whole motion.</li>
<li>Extend your arm till you discover your overhead lockout place (i.e., the bell is overhead with a straight arm and secure, packed shoulder). Your wrist needs to be stacked over your elbow, which is stacked over your shoulder. (If you’re hypermobile, watch out to not hyperextend your elbow right here!)</li>
<li>Reverse the motion by bringing the bell down by the identical path it took on the approach up. Pull into your again and lat muscle tissue to regulate the motion downward — think about that you simply’re rowing the weight again down.</li>
<li>Repeat for reps, then swap to the reverse arm!</li>
Brand new to kettlebell training? Learn precisely learn how to use one, plus 5 nice kettlebell exercises for newcomers.
Overhead Press Variations: Dumbbells and Barbells
Let’s look now at learn how to adapt for various kinds of gear and set-ups. Keep in thoughts that the primary steps will keep the identical no matter the overhead press variation you select: Your core is engaged, you’re spreading stress all through your body, and then you definately’re urgent a weight from shoulder height up and over head till your arm is prolonged.
How to Do a One-Arm Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press
Like the kettlebell overhead press, the dumbbell overhead press is nice for newcomers and superior lifters alike as a result of you could have the choice to range the load and alter up the method. The cues right here assume a one-arm seated overhead press with dumbbells.
- Set up so your pelvis is firmly on the seat or bench, and your ft are positioned firmly on the flooring.
- If you’re utilizing again help, ensure you have full contact with the bench or chair again. (Be cautious to not lean again over the fringe of the help.)
- Keep a impartial backbone.
- Start by holding the dumbbell simply outdoors your shoulder. Your arm needs to be bent together with your palm going through inward.
- Press the dumbbell towards the ceiling, extending your arm straight up.
- Stop simply shy of locking out your elbow.
- Lower the dumbbell down by the identical path, stopping at shoulder degree.
- Repeat for reps, after which swap sides.
You even have the choice to do a seated dumbbell overhead press bilaterally, with two dumbbells, or whereas in a standing place. Mix issues up as wanted based mostly in your ability degree, strength, gear availability, and curiosity.
Bonus: If you’re model new to lifting, otherwise you’re at dwelling and don’t have entry to gear, you’ll be able to follow this motion with a soup can or a water bottle! It’s a improbable approach to transfer by the full vary of movement and get the hold of the motion sample earlier than progressing to heavier or tougher weights. Again, this may be executed in a seated or standing place.
How to Do a Barbell Overhead Press
The barbell overhead press is a extra superior variation you’ll be able to progress to after engaged on kettlebell and dumbbell variations. You can carry out this motion from a seated place on a bench (use the seating cues from the overhead press directions above), or in a standing place. The cues right here will stroll you thru a standing barbell press.
- Find your beginning place, with ft hip-width aside and the barbell in a rack place (resting in your entrance deltoids).
- Your palms needs to be going through the ceiling, with the bar resting softly on them. Your forearms ought to kind a perpendicular line with the bar, together with your elbows barely ahead. While your precise hand place on the bar will likely be dictated by your distinctive anatomy, your palms needs to be simply outdoors your shoulders (not too vast). Imagine making a W together with your body.
- Engage your core and unfold stress by your body.
- Press the bar overhead, squeezing your glutes and tightening your quads. Stop simply previous to locking out your elbows.
- Lower the bar slowly, reversing your preliminary bar path, till simply earlier than it touches your chest. (Note: You will decrease the barbell barely decrease than you’d dumbbells.)
- Repeat for reps.
Form Check: Common Overhead Press Mistakes
There are a couple of errors to be careful for, irrespective of which overhead press variation you’re practising. Here’s a fast rundown of issues to maintain a watch out for:
- Floppy wrists. Check your wrist place to ensure it stays in impartial alignment, particularly when working with dumbbells and kettlebells.
- Relaxed core. Keeping your core muscle tissue engaged, all the approach out of your beginning place by to the finish of your reps, is vital. You might also need to add somewhat additional engagement throughout the carry.
- Forgotten glutes. Squeeze your glutes as you press to assist generate full-body stress, keep stabilized, and keep your impartial backbone.
- Breath holding. Breathe in by the nostril and out by the mouth with pursed lips, exhaling on exertion portion of the motion (i.e., the press). You might need to start your exercise with some Connection Breaths, which you’ll then proceed with throughout your lifting.
- Arched again. Avoid arching your decrease again and flaring your ribs up and out as you press. Roll your shoulders again and really feel your shoulder blades connecting together with your ribcage in the again. Keep your backbone impartial and rib cage down, with eyes directed in entrance of you. (And squeeze these glutes!)
- Torso tipping. Don’t fall into the straightforward lure of leaning a method or the different to try to enhance the weight up. Keep your shoulders degree. Watching your kind in the mirror can assist with this.
- Pressing out not up. Lift in a straight line towards the ceiling, stacking wrist over elbow over shoulder; keep away from pushing the weight out in entrance of you at the identical time.
Interested in including extra selection to your useful strength training program? Check out these 4 kettlebell deadlift variations.
Incorporating the Overhead Press into Your Training
If you’ve checked your mobility and are able to start including the overhead press to your training, you could have a few choices relying in your objectives and expertise.
- If you’re model new to weightlifting, discuss to your coach about learn how to incorporate overhead urgent into your present training program. If you don’t have a coach, start with a light-weight weight (5–8 kilos) and check out for 2–3 sets of 10–12 reps. If you’ll be able to’t carry out 10–12 reps together with your chosen weight whereas sustaining good kind, drop all the way down to a lighter model. If it feels too straightforward, go up a couple of kilos.
- If you’re an intermediate to superior lifter and already engaged on bench presses or Olympic lifts, overhead urgent variations could also be a superb warm-up for heavier lifting days. You might additionally incorporate them on alternate training days to provide your self some variation from the greater lifts.
As you’ve realized, the overhead press is a vital instrument so as to add to your training arsenal — and now you know the way to do it with three various kinds of gear. Great job! It gained’t take lengthy to see enhancements in your strength, stability, and mobility.
And once you’re prepared for somewhat extra variation… attempt enjoying round extra with kettlebells!
As I already talked about, the offset heart of mass makes working by completely different planes of motion a enjoyable problem. The bottoms-up press, double overhead press, and straddle Z press are distinctive choices I extremely advocate attempting out once you’re prepared for your subsequent efficiency aim.
Now go have enjoyable lifting these heavy issues up and over your head!