The overhead press is a challenging exercise that should be a foundational lift in any upper-body routine.
- Improved core strength – your core, primarily the muscles of your abs and lower back, help keep you pushing in a straight line.
- The shrug performed at the top of the press activates the upper portion of your trapezius muscle, which shows as a broad, diamond shape across the upper back.
- The benefits of the overhead press reach far beyond the shoulders and arms. It builds the abdominal wall, strengthens the hips, and builds stability through the legs.
- An indirect impact on an athlete’s ability to generate arm swing power. Proper arm swing can increase a jump’s height by roughly 30%.
Step 1: Stand under a barbell rack set at chest height and move the bar, with an overhand full grip, to your chest. Or, use control to hoist the barbell from the floor, clean-style, to rest at the front of the chest. The hands should be shoulder-distance apart and elbows pointing down toward the floor.
Step 2: Inhale and press the bar straight up. Avoid allowing it to waver too far forward or back.
Step 3: Lockout your elbow joints briefly at the top as you shrug your shoulders before slowly lowering the weight back down to your chest.