Perfecting the Overhead Press: A How-To Information for Ladies

Are you able to really feel like a badass whenever you carry heavy issues up and over your head?

If that’s the case, then you definitely’ve come to the appropriate place!

That is your one-stop store for studying every thing it’s worthwhile to know concerning the overhead press, whether or not you’re…

  • Seeking to develop your higher physique and shoulder energy
  • Hoping to enhance your shoulder mobility
  • Recovering from a lower-body harm and searching for a technique to nonetheless get some positive aspects within the gymnasium
  • Looking for an train that may pay dividends in your different coaching (or your Muay Thai classes!)

… or just interested in find out how to safely add the overhead press to your coaching program.

On this article, you’ll be taught the advantages of the overhead press, find out how to safely apply overhead urgent (even in the event you’re utilizing various kinds of tools), and find out how to stop widespread approach errors.

What Is an Overhead Press, In any case?

If you do an overhead press, you’re shifting a weight from chest stage 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 physique. An overhead press might be executed from kneeling, supine, seated, and standing positions.

Additionally referred to as the army press, the strict press, and even merely the press, the overhead press is a compound higher physique motion. (A compound motion works a number of muscle tissue or muscle teams directly.) Whereas it might look like it is solely an arm and shoulder exercise — and it does work these areas very properly, particularly on the subject of your triceps and lats — it additionally targets the chest, again, and core muscle tissue. And in the event you’re urgent from a standing place, the extra engagement of your glutes, quads, and ft means you’re getting a full-body exercise.

Advantages of Overhead Urgent

Past its capacity 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 physique energy and energy, which can carry over to different lifts and general energy coaching capabilities.
  • Bettering efficiency in a number of sports activities (like baseball, Muay Thai, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu).
  • Strengthening your capacity to push up from the ground to get right into a standing place, hoist that Pyrex dish as much as the highest shelf of your cabinet, or energy your baggage up into an overhead bin on an airplane.
  • Serving to develop highly effective shoulders that pop in tank tops.

Urgent can be an effective way to evaluate your capacity to create full-body rigidity. In the event you’re feeling unstable otherwise you’re fighting type, you are able to do a physique scan from the bottom as much as consider the place you might be shedding that rigidity, after which goal some areas for enchancment.

Plus, there’s only a particular form of pleasure and energy that comes whenever you begin lifting heavy issues overhead!

Now that you recognize why the overhead press is so necessary in your coaching, I’m certain you’re tremendous excited to discover ways to do it correctly. However first, I wish to shortly contact on a couple of stuff you want to have the ability to do earlier than you’ll be able to press safely.

Earlier than You Press: Mobility Verify

Earlier than you begin urgent weight overhead, it’s worthwhile to have sufficient shoulder mobility to make sure you can transfer by way of the total vary of movement safely. Listed here are three questions to think about previous to urgent.

Can you progress by way of the total vary of movement with out ache?

That is the very first thing to guage in the event you’re excited by working in your overhead press. Listed here are the 2 actions to strive:

  • Increase your arms up out of your sides (lateral increase) till they’re straight overhead.
  • Increase your arms towards the entrance (full shoulder flexion) till they’re straight overhead (with out bending your elbows).

In the event you can’t increase 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 shifting onto overhead urgent is finest. A number of workouts that could be useful right here embrace:

  • Shoulder circles
  • Arm raises to facet
  • Arm swings
  • Kettlebell arm bar
  • Kettlebell shoulder twist
  • Kettlebell halo

Do you battle with shoulder impingement?

Shoulder impingement could cause ache in addition to a decreased vary of movement within the shoulder joint. Whereas having impingement doesn’t essentially imply you’ll be able to’t apply your overhead press, in the event you’re fighting 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 energy coaching program. Being cleared for the motion by an professional — after which consciously working in your shoulder mobility earlier than you apply your stability and management with urgent actions — might assist stop future points or accidents.

(Observe: In the event you’re recovering from a lower-body harm, the press can turn into your new finest good friend. It’s an incredible motion to apply to develop higher physique energy, and since you are able to do it in a wide range of positions [e.g., seated press], you’ll be able to work round many accidents. Nevertheless, be cautious to not overdo it. In the event you’re not within the correct place, particularly in the event you’re compounding improper place with a excessive quantity of reps or a heavier weight, you’ll be able to trigger shoulder impingement. Nobody needs that! Hearken to your physique, and ensure your mobility is there first — even when it’s tempting to dive in straight away.)

Are your pec muscle tissue tight?

Pectoralis muscle flexibility is vital to soundly performing the overhead press. In case 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 type. In the event you lie in your again and prolong your fingers out to your sides, palms up, and really feel plenty of stretching in your chest, you most likely have tight pecs.

Work in your flexibility by including some chest stretches into your coaching routine as motion prep. The kettlebell arm bar or some band mobility workouts could be nice.

Alright, now that we’ve coated the mobility piece, let’s take a look at find out how to do an overhead press!

How you can Do a One-Arm Overhead Press with a Kettlebell

As I am a kettlebell teacher, kettlebells are (as you might have guessed!) my jam. They’re nice for each learners and extra superior lifters as a result of there are such a lot of choices for measurement, grip, and weight. Plus, the offset middle of mass of a bell makes it a superbly difficult software to make use of, no matter expertise stage. That’s why we’re going to begin by how precisely to do a kettlebell overhead press! (I’ll cowl find out how to adapt the urgent motion based mostly on the kind of weight you wish to use subsequent.)

You’ll must know find out how to carry out a kettlebell clear earlier than you are able to do a kettlebell overhead press.

How you can Do a One-Arm Kettlebell Overhead Press

  • Begin in a standing place together with your ft shoulder-width aside (or barely narrower). The kettlebell ought to be sitting a few foot in entrance of you.
  • Clear the bell to the rack place. (If you do not know find out how to clear but, you’ll be able to “cheat clear” by aiding the kettlebell to the rack together with your free hand.) Your wrist ought to be fully straight, forming a straight line together with your forearm.
  • Think about spreading rigidity by way of your entire physique. Have interaction your core, tighten your quads, and squeeze your glutes. Your gaze ought to be straight forward, together with your backbone impartial.
  • Roll your shoulders again and down.
  • Take a breath in, after which in your exhale, press upward from the rack place.
  • As you press, pull your shoulder blades again and collectively barely as you squeeze your glutes.
  • Maintain your wrist straight (impartial) and knuckles pointed up such as you’re going to punch by way of the ceiling. Your forearm ought to keep perpendicular to the ground (vertical) throughout all the motion.
  • Lengthen 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 ought to be stacked over your elbow, which is stacked over your shoulder. (In the event you’re hypermobile, watch out to not hyperextend your elbow right here!)
  • Reverse the motion by bringing the bell down by way of the identical path it took on the best way up. Pull into your again and lat muscle tissue to manage the motion downward — think about that you just’re rowing the burden again down.
  • Repeat for reps, then change to the alternative arm!

Model new to kettlebell coaching? Be taught precisely find out how to use one, plus 5 nice kettlebell workouts for learners.

Overhead Press Variations: Dumbbells and Barbells

Let’s look now at find out how to adapt for various kinds of tools and set-ups. Remember the fact that the essential steps will keep the identical whatever the overhead press variation you select: Your core is engaged, you’re spreading rigidity all through your physique, and then you definitely’re urgent a weight from shoulder top up and over head till your arm is prolonged.

How you can Do a One-Arm Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press

Just like the kettlebell overhead press, the dumbbell overhead press is nice for learners and superior lifters alike as a result of you could have the choice to range the load and alter up the approach. The cues right here assume a one-arm seated overhead press with dumbbells.

  • Arrange so your pelvis is firmly on the seat or bench, and your ft are positioned firmly on the ground.
  • In the event you’re utilizing again help, be sure to have full contact with the bench or chair again. (Watch out to not lean again over the sting of the help.)
  • Maintain a impartial backbone.
  • Begin by holding the dumbbell simply exterior your shoulder. Your arm ought to be bent together with your palm going through inward.
  • Press the dumbbell towards the ceiling, extending your arm straight up.
  • Cease simply shy of locking out your elbow.
  • Decrease the dumbbell down by way of the identical path, stopping at shoulder stage.
  • Repeat for reps, after which change sides.

You even have the choice to do a seated dumbbell overhead press bilaterally, with two dumbbells, or whereas in a standing place. Combine issues up as wanted based mostly in your ability stage, energy, tools availability, and curiosity.

Bonus: In the event you’re model new to lifting, otherwise you’re at residence and don’t have entry to tools, you’ll be able to apply this motion with a soup can or a water bottle! It’s a unbelievable technique to transfer by way of the total vary of movement and get the grasp of the motion sample earlier than progressing to heavier or tougher weights. Once more, this may be executed in a seated or standing place.

How you can 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 may 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.

  • Discover your beginning place, with ft hip-width aside and the barbell in a rack place (resting in your entrance deltoids).
  • Your palms ought to be going through the ceiling, with the bar resting softly on them. Your forearms ought to type a perpendicular line with the bar, together with your elbows barely ahead. Whereas your actual hand place on the bar can be dictated by your distinctive anatomy, your fingers ought to be simply exterior your shoulders (not too broad). Think about making a W together with your physique.
  • Have interaction your core and unfold rigidity by way of your physique.
  • Press the bar overhead, squeezing your glutes and tightening your quads. Cease simply previous to locking out your elbows.
  • Decrease the bar slowly, reversing your preliminary bar path, till simply earlier than it touches your chest. (Observe: You’ll decrease the barbell barely decrease than you’ll dumbbells.)
  • Repeat for reps.

Kind Verify: Widespread Overhead Press Errors

There are a couple of errors to be careful for, irrespective of which overhead press variation you’re working towards. Right here’s a fast rundown of issues to maintain an eye fixed out for:

  • Floppy wrists. Verify your wrist place to verify it stays in impartial alignment, particularly when working with dumbbells and kettlebells.
  • Relaxed core. Retaining your core muscle tissue engaged, all the best way out of your beginning place by way of to the tip of your reps, is vital. You may additionally wish to add a little bit further engagement through the carry.
  • Forgotten glutes. Squeeze your glutes as you press to assist generate full-body rigidity, keep stabilized, and preserve your impartial backbone.
  • Breath holding. Breathe in by way of the nostril and out by way of the mouth with pursed lips, exhaling on exertion portion of the motion (i.e., the press). Chances are you’ll wish to begin your exercise with some Connection Breaths, which you’ll be able to then proceed with throughout your lifting.
  • Arched again. Keep away from 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 within the again. Maintain 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 somehow to try to enhance the burden up. Maintain your shoulders stage. Watching your type within the mirror may also help with this.
  • Urgent out not up. Carry in a straight line towards the ceiling, stacking wrist over elbow over shoulder; keep away from pushing the burden out in entrance of you on the similar time.

All for including extra selection to your useful energy coaching program? Take a look at these 4 kettlebell deadlift variations.

Incorporating the Overhead Press into Your Coaching

In the event you’ve checked your mobility and are prepared to begin including the overhead press to your coaching, you could have a few choices relying in your objectives and expertise.

  • In the event you’re model new to weightlifting, discuss to your coach about find out how to incorporate overhead urgent into your current coaching program. In the event you don’t have a coach, begin with a light-weight weight (5–8 kilos) and take a look at for two–3 units of 10–12 reps. In the event you can’t carry out 10–12 reps together with your chosen weight whereas sustaining good type, drop right down to a lighter model. If it feels too simple, go up a couple of kilos.
  • In the event 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 can additionally incorporate them on alternate coaching days to present your self some variation from the larger lifts.

As you’ve realized, the overhead press is a important software so as to add to your coaching arsenal — and now you know the way to do it with three various kinds of tools. Nice job! It gained’t take lengthy to see enhancements in your energy, stability, and mobility.

And whenever you’re prepared for a little bit extra variation… strive enjoying round extra with kettlebells! 

As I already talked about, the offset middle of mass makes working by way of 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 whenever you’re prepared in your subsequent efficiency aim.

Now go have enjoyable lifting these heavy issues up and over your head!

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