March 03, 2023 3 min read
An overhead press is a strength training exercise that targets the deltoids, triceps, and trapezius muscles. It’s often performed with either a barbell or dumbbell. The movement involves lifting the weight above your head and pressing it up into the air until your arms are fully extended. This exercise is popular among athletes and everyday gym-goers alike due to its ability to help build shoulder and upper body strength.Shop The Collection: Barbells
Aside from building strength, there are many other benefits to doing overhead press exercises. For starters, it helps you increase your flexibility and mobility. As you lift the weight above your head, you need to move through a large range of motion. Doing so helps improve your joint mobility, which can reduce stiffness and improve your overall functional mobility.Shop The Gear: CAP Barbell Olympic Chrome Bar, 7-ft, $163.99 USD
In addition to improving your mobility, overhead presses also help strengthen your core muscles. As you lift the weight up, you must remain stable and maintain your balance. To do so, your core muscles must work together to keep your spine aligned and stable. This helps improve your posture and strengthens your core, which can help reduce lower back pain.Shop The Collection: Dumbbells
Finally, overhead press exercises can help you gain strength in other areas. As you press the weight up, you must engage your chest and arm muscles as well. This helps you build muscle in those areas, which can then be used to help you lift heavier weights in other exercises.Shop The Gear: CAP Barbell Rubber Hex Dumbbells, from $5.99 USD
If you’re looking to add overhead press exercises to your workout routine, it’s important to start out slowly. Start by using light weights and perfecting your form before gradually increasing the amount of weight you can lift. Incorrect form can lead to injuries, so it’s important to make sure you’re lifting in a safe and controlled manner.
When performing the exercise, focus on keeping your core tight and bracing your abs throughout the entire movement. This will help keep your spine in proper alignment and reduce any risk of injury. Additionally, make sure to keep your elbows close to your body and avoid locking them out at the top of the movement. Locking out your elbows can lead to shoulder impingement, so it’s important to keep them slightly bent.
Finally, make sure to keep your breathing consistent throughout the exercise. Exhale as you press the weight up and inhale as you lower it back down. This will help keep your heart rate steady and reduce the risk of fatigue.
Once you’ve mastered the basic overhead press, you can start to add variations to your routine. One variation is the seated overhead press. This is done with a bench, which allows you to sit with your back supported while still getting the same benefits of the standing variation. Another variation is the single arm overhead press. This is done with one arm at a time, which increases the challenge and improves your balance.
You can also add different grips to your overhead press. A narrow grip will target the triceps more, while a wide grip will focus more on the shoulders. You can also use an alternating grip, where one hand is facing forward and the other is facing backward. This helps to keep the weight balanced and works the muscles in different ways.
Adding overhead press exercises to your workout routine can help you build strength, improve your mobility, and increase your core stability. Before beginning, it’s important to perfect your form and start with lighter weights. Once you’re comfortable with the exercise, you can start adding variations to challenge yourself further. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to reap the many benefits of the overhead press.