If you want bigger and stronger shoulders, lifting weight above your head is arguably the fastest way to do it. Check out the best overhead press variations according to Brian Alsruhe.
Brian Alsruhe is an amateur strongman contestant, fitness coach and owner of NEVERstate Athletics, a website where he delivers content about strongman, powerlifting, and conditioning. His YouTube channel has more than 200k subscribers.
He has previously won Maryland’s Strongest Man twice, so it can be helpful to learn a thing or two from him. Alsruhe decided to share 9 of the best overhead press variations that you can do now to get stronger.
Best Overhead Press Variations
1. Push Press
This is similar to a strict press, but you are using your legs to help drive the barbell overhead, so you get to use more weight. The push press should be used every time you want to build stronger muscles in your upper body.
2. Push Jerk / Split Jerk
A staple in CrossFit, the push jerk is a weightlifting exercise that requires a lot of skill and strength.
3. Pin Press
The pin press is great to overload your triceps and you can set it up however you want to work any technical difficulties you might have.
4. Strict Press
Strict press is the most basic and yet incredibly well-rounded shoulder exercise. By not utilising your legs to drive the barbell upwards, you are restricting your shoulders to do most of the work.
5. Band & Chain Strict Press
This is the same exercise as the one mentioned above, however, you can add resistance bands or chains to the barbell to increase the difficulty of the movement. Resistance bands are extra difficult because it makes the movement harder at the top of the range of motion.
6. Semi-Supinated Standing Dumbbell Press
It sounds complicated, but it is not. The semi-supinated standing dumbbell press is basically a strict press with a neutral grip holding a pair of dumbbells.
By utilising dumbbells you are hitting your shoulders at a different angle (also because of the neutral grip, compared to the usual barbell).
7. Z Press
The Z press is a seated pressing exercise that works with zero drive from the legs or core, putting all the focus on your upper body.
8. Trap Bar Press
The instability of the trap bar press makes this exercise perfect if you want to do low weights and high reps to grind your way to bigger and stronger shoulders.
9. Arnold Press
The Arnold press, an exercise named after Schwarzenegger, will target all three deltoid muscles in your shoulders.
VIDEO – Best Overhead Press Variations
Read More: The Perfect Shoulder Workout
- teen athlete push press: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.