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Learn the Technique of Overhead Press

Learn the Technique of Overhead Press

The overhead press is not as popular as the bench press, but will give you better results in comparison to the bench press. The following article tells you the right technique to perform an overhead press...
FitnessVigil Staff
The overhead press is one of the best strength training exercises, but most people do not realize this, and consider the bench press superior to it. Overhead press helps you build your upper body; it primarily targets the shoulders, making it a great shoulder exercise.

Overhead Press Technique

Before I start with the technique, let me make one thing clear; attempt this strength training exercise only if you have no physical problems (especially of the back or neck) that will aggravate by lifting any weight over your head.

Weight Arrangement
For an overhead press you will need a bar similar to the one which you use in a bench press. If you are a beginner, do not go for heavy weights! Remember, in this exercise, you cannot lift the same amount of weight that you lift in a bench press. Once you have selected the weight, you should decide whether you want to place the barbell on a rack. If you do not use the rack, you will have to powerclean the weight.

Starting Position
If the barbell is on the rack, then hold it with a firm closed grip. The distance between your palms should be more than your shoulder width. Move your elbows in front of the barbell. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Now, lift the barbell, and support it with your upper chest. You should keep your chest out. Do not tilt your head in any direction, look ahead! This is your starting position. If you are not using the rack, then powerclean the barbell to the starting position.

The Overhead Press
Assuming that you are in the correct position, quickly lift the weight above your head in a straight line. While lifting the weight you should remember the following points:

Grip
Your grip should be firm, and the barbell should be positioned near your wrists (this is similar to the positioning of the barbell when you do a bench press). If your grip is loose, then the barbell might fall on your head! So, be careful.

Back
People have a tendency to arch their back while lifting any weight overhead. Arching your back might help you lift more weight, but it will minimize the effect of the overhead press. You should always keep your back neutral while performing this exercise.

Knees
Avoid bending your knees. This is also an error that most people make. Bending your knees will assist you in the lifting, but doing so takes some pressure off your upper body. So do not bend your knees while lifting the weight.

Glutes
In order to maintain a good posture while performing an overhead press, you need to squeeze your glutes. When you squeeze your glutes, you minimize the probability of arching your back.

Head
You should move your head backwards while lifting the barbell. If you do not do so, the barbell might hit your chin or nose. The moment you lift the bar off your upper chest, you head should move backwards.

When the barbell is over your head, move your torso forward, extend your arms completely, and lock your elbows. Your chin might touch your upper chest in this position, but you should keep looking forward. Now, unlock your elbows, pull your head backwards, and slowly lower the barbell to the starting position. You just completed one overhead press! Repeat till you complete the desired number of repetitions.

If you perform the overhead press correctly you will surely get great results within a few weeks. Remember, in order to build a good body, you should complement your workout with a good diet.