Overhead Press: The Ultimate Shoulder Exercise
Overhead press is among the foundation workouts for the upper body. The exercise can help you grow the upper body muscles but you need to be careful when performing it because it touches on several joints and muscles. It is a simple workout but the strength produced is great. Apart from the upper body strengthening, when the exercise is performed while standing, it will lead to full body workout where different muscles of your body are stretched. Although the exercise has several benefits when it comes to growing your muscles, you should be careful when doing it because it requires careful handling of the weight.
Muscles worked out in the overhead press
The overhead press leads to working your whole body. The arms and shoulders act as the prime mover during the workout. To achieve the desired balance of your body and the bar, all the muscles in your body should stay tight. Some of the muscles which the exercise targets include the following:
The upper arms must be raised to lift the bar. Pressing the upper arms workout the muscles along the shoulders and your front.
The elbows should be strengthened to press the weight. You work out the muscles along your triceps and the back.
The small muscles which cover the shoulders are worked out when balancing the bar.
To avoid shoulder impingement, you should shrug the shoulders at the top. The shrugging effect works out the shoulder blade.
The core muscles will play a role in stabilizing the body as the shoulders and arms press on the weight overhead. The abs prevents you from collapsing under the bar. The abnormal muscles and the lower back are worked out.
The legs balance the body as the arms and shoulders press on the weight. You get to work out your hips, calves, thighs and ankles. Your leg muscles are strengthened as you raise the weight because they must bear the load and the balance.
How to perform The overhead press
There are several steps you need to follow to perform the workout. Here are the basic steps you need to take so that you can have an effective overhead press which will help in growing your upper body muscles as well as increasing your overall body strength.
You need to stand upright with the bar on the front shoulders. The grip should be narrow and the wrists maintained in a straight position. Forearms should be maintained vertical. Knees and hips should be locked.
Lift Your Chest
To raise your chest towards the ceiling, you need to arch your upper back. Try to make the chin touch the upper chest as you press on the bar.
To press, you need to start by taking a big breath. Hold the breath as you press the bar while maintaining a vertical line. Avoid pressing the bar in front or even
behind your head. The press should be performed over the head.
Always maintain the right posture while pressing. You need to move close to the bar as you press the weight up. Once the bar has passed the forehead, you can shift the torso forward.
For proper balance, you need to hold the bar over the shoulders and the mid foot. Lock the elbows as you shrug the shoulders towards the ceiling.
After each rep, you need to return the bar to the shoulders and repeat the process.
Safety while performing the overhead press
The overhead press exercise should be performed with care. If you are a beginner, it is necessary to start with small weight as you increase. Some of the safety precautions you need to take while performing the workout include the following:
With the proper form, the workout is safe for your shoulders. The workout leads to development of a stronger and healthier shoulder. To avoid dislocations or even developing pain, you need to maintain the right form. Maintain a narrow grip with the elbow at 45 degrees. The bar should be pressed while maintaining a vertical
line so that you avoid hurting the shoulders. The bar should be balanced over the shoulder joint.
While performing the workout, the heels should be under the hips. If your hips are narrow then your stance should be narrow.
Feet Flat on the Floor
You will achieve a better balance if your feet are maintained on the flow flat. The workout is performed safely when you have full body balance. You will increase your balance if the foot rests on the floor completely as you press on the bar.
Avoid staged stance where one foot is put forward. It may seem to offer better balance and stability, but it will deliver uneven pressure on the lower spine and the hips which is not safe.
The shoulders and the arms should press the bar upwards but not your legs. Avoid ankle bending because it will take the work away from the shoulder muscles. Lock the knees as you squeeze the squad to maintain the desired stability.
When you bend the hips you end up performing push press instead of the overhead press. Ensure the hips are locked as you concentrate on the overhead press.
The thumbs should be wrapped around the bar to prevent any slip. Things can turn out to be worse if the weight slips as you press on it. For safety reasons, you should ensure the grip is strong enough.
When performing overhead press, the writs should be maintained at an almost straight position. Avoid keeping the knuckles vertical as you perform the press.
Elbows under the bar
The forearms should be kept vertical as you perform the press. Pressing while your elbows are at the back or bottom can lead to reducing strength. Try to lock the elbows at a 45 degree angle.
The overhead press workout is among the most effective workouts you can perform to improve the strength of your body apart from developing your upper body muscles. The arms and shoulders will grow to fill your t-shirts hence making you feel proud. Always perform it the right way and you will never regret.