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Progression Strategies for Overhead Press Exercises

April 07, 2023 3 min read

Progression Strategies for Overhead Press Exercises

The overhead press is one of the classic exercises used to build strength and mass in the upper body. It’s an effective movement that has been used by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts for years. But even though it’s a simple exercise, many people don’t get the results they want from it. That’s because they don’t use the proper progression strategies to maximize their gains.

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What Is Progression?

Progression is the process of gradually increasing the intensity or difficulty of your workouts over time. This is important because when you are first starting out, your body isn’t used to the specific movement patterns involved in the overhead press. By gradually increasing the intensity, you can increase your strength and endurance while avoiding injury.

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Basic Progression Strategies For Overhead Press Exercises

The key to successful progression is to take small steps and make sure you’re not overdoing it. Here are some basic progression strategies you can use to improve your overhead press:

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  • Start with lighter weights: When starting out, begin with lighter weights so you can master the form and technique before progressing to heavier weights. This will help you avoid injuries and ensure you’re doing the exercise correctly.
  • Increase reps: Once you have the form and technique down, start increasing the number of reps you do each set. This will help build your endurance and allow you to progress to heavier weights.
  • Increase weight: Once you’ve built up your strength and endurance, slowly start increasing the amount of weight you’re using. Make sure you’re still using good form and technique throughout the movement.
  • Add variations: Once you’ve mastered the basic overhead press, add in variations such as single-arm presses, narrow grip presses, and other variations. This will help keep your body guessing and prevent plateauing.

Advanced Progression Strategies For Overhead Press Exercises

Once you’ve mastered the basics, there are several advanced progression strategies you can use to further challenge yourself. Here are some ideas:

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  • Supersets: Supersets involve performing two exercises back-to-back with no rest in between. For example, you could do a set of overhead presses followed immediately by a set of lateral raises. This will help increase your intensity and burn more calories.
  • Drop sets: Drop sets involve quickly reducing the weight after each set. For example, after completing a set of 10 reps with a certain weight, you would immediately reduce the weight and perform another set of 10 reps. This will help you push your muscles to their limits and maximize muscle growth.
  • Negatives: Negatives involve slowly lowering the weight during each rep. This increases the time under tension and focuses on the eccentric (lowering) phase of the movement, which helps increase strength and muscle size.
  • Partials: Partials involve only performing a portion of the range of motion. For example, instead of pressing the barbell all the way up to full lockout, you would only press it halfway up. This allows you to lift heavier weights and focus on building strength and power.
  • Isometric holds: Isometric holds involve holding the weight in a certain position for a certain amount of time. For example, you could hold the barbell at shoulder height for 10 seconds. This is great for building strength and stability in the shoulders.

Progression is an important part of any workout program. If you want to maximize your gains and get the most out of your overhead press workouts, it’s important to use the right progression strategies. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the intensity over time. Add variations and utilize advanced strategies such as supersets, drop sets, negatives, partials, and isometric holds. With the right approach, you can take your overhead press to the next level and get the results you’re looking for.