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Is the Overhead Press Good for Building Muscle?

June 03, 2023 3 min read

Is the Overhead Press Good for Building Muscle?

An Overview of the Overhead Press for Building Muscle

The overhead press is a popular exercise for building muscle and improving strength. It’s a compound movement that targets multiple muscles at once, including those in the shoulders, upper chest, and triceps. This type of exercise is beneficial for developing functional strength and power, as well as increasing overall muscle size.

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The overhead press also has many advantages over other exercises. For example, it works more than one muscle group at a time, resulting in greater efficiency. Additionally, the overhead press can be used to isolate specific muscles or muscle groups. This makes it easier to target specific areas for growth.

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What Muscles Does the Overhead Press Work?

The overhead press primarily targets the shoulder muscles, which include the deltoids, trapezius, and rotator cuff muscles. The deltoids are the most heavily worked during this exercise and are responsible for the majority of the movement. The trapezius muscles help to stabilize the shoulder blades and keep them from moving too much. The rotator cuff muscles provide stability and help to control the motion of the shoulder joint.

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In addition to the shoulder muscles, the overhead press also works the triceps. The triceps are responsible for extending the elbow joint and are essential for pushing movements. Furthermore, the triceps are often neglected in other exercises and therefore require extra attention.

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Benefits of the Overhead Press

The overhead press is an excellent exercise for strengthening the entire body and developing muscle mass. It is a compound exercise, meaning it works multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This makes it a great time-saver, as you can get a full-body workout in less time than it would take to do individual exercises for each muscle group.

The overhead press also helps to improve posture. As you perform the exercise, the shoulder muscles are strengthened and stabilized, allowing for better posture when standing or sitting. Additionally, the overhead press can help to strengthen the core muscles, which support the spine and protect against injury.

Finally, the overhead press is beneficial for building functional strength. This type of strength is necessary for everyday activities such as carrying groceries, lifting objects, and playing sports. Stronger shoulder muscles can help to reduce the risk of injury while performing these activities.

How to Perform the Overhead Press

Before attempting any exercise, it is important to warm up. This can be done by doing some light cardio and stretching. Once the body is warm, it's time to begin the overhead press.

The first step is to stand upright with feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Keep the elbows close to the body and the palms facing forward. From this position, press the weights overhead until the arms are fully extended. Pause at the top of the movement before slowly lowering the weights back to starting position.

It is important to keep the core tight throughout the entire exercise and not arch the back. Additionally, focus on maintaining good form and proper breathing. Exhale as you press the weights overhead and inhale as you lower them back down.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One of the most common mistakes when performing the overhead press is not engaging the core muscles. Keeping the core tight is essential for stabilizing the spine and protecting against injury. Additionally, avoid arching the back and relying on momentum to press the weights overhead.

Another mistake to avoid is pressing the weights too far overhead. This can cause the shoulders and elbows to become strained. Instead, focus on pressing the weights just above the head, keeping the arms slightly bent. This will ensure that the shoulders and elbows remain safe throughout the exercise.

The overhead press is a great exercise for building muscle and improving strength. It is a compound movement that targets multiple muscle groups at once, making it a great time-saver. Additionally, the overhead press can help to improve posture and build functional strength. However, it is important to maintain good form and engage the core muscles to ensure safety while performing this exercise.