July 23, 2023 4 min read
The overhead press is a popular exercise used by many strength trainers to build upper-body strength, increase shoulder mobility and improve posture. The exercise involves pressing a weight (often a barbell) straight up above your head. It’s a great exercise for building shoulder strength and stability, but it isn’t always the most practical for everyone. Some people may have difficulty executing the movement correctly, or they may not have access to the proper equipment. In these cases, alternatives to the traditional overhead press are needed.Shop The Collection: Barbells
Fortunately, there are plenty of options available for those looking for alternatives to the traditional overhead press. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best alternatives to the traditional overhead press that can still provide an effective workout.Shop The Gear: Concorde Olympic Training Barbell – 45 LB, $249.99 USD
Push-ups are one of the most common bodyweight exercises around. They work the chest, shoulders and triceps, and can be done anywhere, anytime. Push-ups are perfect for those who don’t have access to any kind of gym equipment or weights, as all you need is your own bodyweight.Shop The Collection: Dumbbells
To do a push-up, start in a high plank position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Lower your body down until your chest touches the ground, then press back up to the starting position. To make the push-up harder, try doing them on your toes instead of your knees. You can also add in variations such as wide-grip push-ups, narrow-grip push-ups, and elevated push-ups.Shop The Gear: MAGMA Rubber Hex Dumbbells, from $5.99 USD
The dumbbell shoulder press is a great alternative to the traditional overhead press. It works the same muscles as the overhead press, but allows for more freedom of movement. The dumbbell shoulder press can be done standing or seated and works both arms at the same time, creating a balanced workout.
To do the dumbbell shoulder press, hold two dumbbells with your palms facing forward. Bend your elbows and lower the weights to your shoulders. Then press the dumbbells up and overhead until your arms are extended. Lower the weights back to your shoulders and repeat.
The barbell bench press is another great alternative to the traditional overhead press. Unlike the overhead press, the barbell bench press allows you to use heavier weights than you could with just your bodyweight. This makes it great for those looking to build strength and muscle.
To do the barbell bench press, lie flat on a bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Grip the barbell with an overhand grip and lift it off the rack. Lower the barbell to your chest and press it back up. Be sure to keep your lower back pressed against the bench the entire time.
The incline dumbbell press is similar to the standard dumbbell shoulder press, but with the added benefit of an incline. By using an incline, you can target the front and middle deltoids more effectively. This makes the incline dumbbell press great for those looking to build overall shoulder strength and size.
To do the incline dumbbell press, set an adjustable bench to a slight incline angle. Hold a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing forward and lower them to your shoulders. Then press the weights up and overhead until your arms are extended. Lower the weights back to your shoulders and repeat.
Dips are a great alternative to the traditional overhead press as they work the same muscles but with a slightly different motion. Dips can be done with or without additional weight, making them great for any fitness level.
To do dips, stand between two parallel bars and grip them with your hands. Keeping your body straight, bend your elbows and lower your body down. Then press back up to the starting position. To make the exercise harder, add weight using a dipping belt or weighted vest.
The kettlebell overhead press is a great variation of the traditional overhead press. It works the same muscles as the regular overhead press, but with the added challenge of an unstable load. This makes the kettlebell overhead press great for those looking to increase their shoulder stability and core strength.
To do the kettlebell overhead press, hold a single kettlebell with both hands in a racked position. Press the kettlebell overhead until your arms are extended. Lower the kettlebell back to the starting position and repeat. Be sure to keep your core engaged throughout the movement to maintain proper form.
The overhead press is a great exercise for building upper-body strength and stability, but it isn’t always the most practical for everyone. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives to the traditional overhead press that can still provide an effective workout. Push-ups, dumbbell shoulder press, barbell bench press, incline dumbbell press, dips and kettlebell overhead press are all great alternatives to the traditional overhead press.
No matter what type of exercise you choose, be sure to practice proper form and technique. Start light and gradually increase the weight or reps as your strength and stability improve. With consistency and dedication, you’ll soon be reaping the rewards of a strong and healthy body.