Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Overhead Press

The Overhead Press is a compound exercise that is a great functional movement, carrying over into “real life”. This exercise mimics real life. Strength in “real life” usually involves standing, walking and moving around, not sitting or lying on your back.

Performing the overhead press in a standing position requires your “core” muscles (abs, obliques, and lower back and spinal stabilizers) to stabilize your body. Your upper body (shoulders, chest and arms) press the weight while your core muscles and legs form a foundation.

The overhead press works all the shoulder heads (three of them on each side) equally. This promotes a critical muscle balance. Imbalances lead to injuries. For example, most males will rely on the bench press as their key exercise. However, this causes too much front shoulder head development and not enough shoulder formation in the back and sides. Many people in sports end up with a rotator cuff injury, which is often linked to an imbalance in the three shoulder heads.

There are numerous variations of the overhead press. Nearly all seated and standing dumbbell and barbell overhead presses are solid choices. Popular alternatives are the Arnold dumbbell press and behind the neck overhead press.

Here is my recommendation: Press the bar or dumbbells straight overhead. Press upward, stay tight, move your head if barbell (keep looking forward while you quickly tilt your head back out of the way and continue pressing up), lean your upper body forward slightly (do not arch your back and lean backwards). You should have the bar (or dumbbells) locked out overhead. Then stay tight and lower it under control. Touch your shoulders and that is one rep.

Get the form down first and then add weight and strive to add weight every session. However, do not sacrifice form for weight.

Stay tuned………

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