The overhead press is a great exercise for building up your shoulder muscles. But to get the best result, you need to be focused on getting your form right.
How to Get That Tapered Appearance
The overhead press is a great exercise for developing shoulder muscles. Well-developed shoulder muscles can help give the upper body a tapered appearance that is attractive to all those who see it. This article will explain how to do overhead presses with great form.
Overhead Presses: Muscles Worked
The primary muscles worked in this compound movement are the shoulder muscles (deltoids). But, since you are in a standing position while doing this exercise, other muscles must work synergistically to help you lift the weight.
The other muscles worked when performing this exercise are the biceps, triceps, and chest. Your abdominal and leg muscles act as stabilizers to help you correctly perform this exercise.
Overhead Presses: Starting Position
When first performing this exercise, you must use a power rack or lift the weight from the ground. Many people prefer using the power rack (if it’s available to them) because it helps them get into starting position easily. If you are using a power rack, you need to put on the correct amount of weight (for beginner’s it’s best to start off light) and then approach the bar.
Your feet should be placed at shoulder width apart and you should be standing with your body very close to the barbell. Your hand grip should be wider than shoulder width apart.
Before you even attempt to lift the weight, your head must be in a neutral position, your chest should be up (as if you were standing at attention) and your back should have a slight arch in it. You need to also get your stabilizing muscles ready. These muscles include leg, abdominals, and glutes. Your stabilizing muscles should all be tight and the best way to adhere to this is by squeezing the muscles in your glutes.
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The last component to consider is elbow placement. Your elbows must be pointing forward. Your elbows and upper body are the driving force when pushing the weight upward. Now that you are in
Overhead Presses: Performing the Exercise
From the starting position, you must take a deep breath and prepare to lift the weight. The most important thing to consider as you lift the weight is the path that the bar travels. If you are performing this exercise correctly, the bar will go in a straight line as it travels from its resting position on your deltoids to being positioned directly overhead.
At this point, the bar should be resting on your front shoulder muscles and you breathe in deeply and then push upwards. The bar must travel in a straight line, but you must take care not to let it hit your chin on the way upward so you will move your head slightly back to avoid this. As you continue to move the way upward past your chin, your chest will flare out slightly to help you properly lift the weight. Once the weight has cleared your chin, you will fully extend your arms upward and your body should be directly underneath the bar.
This is when you will mentally check your form. If you have performed the exercise correctly, your head will be straight forward and your elbows will be in a locked position and slightly flared out. Your back should have a slight arch and your feet should be firmly planted on the floor.
In order to get back to starting position, you will let the bar travel in the same path only in reverse. As you descend the bar, you should breathe in and let the bar rest once more on your front deltoids. Also, during the descent you must remember the position of your head. In order to lift the bar up, you had to move your head slightly back to avoid hitting your chin. The same procedure needs to be adhered to when moving the bar downward.
Overhead Presses: Build Great Deltoids
The overhead press will help you build great deltoids. Not only will your shoulder muscles get stronger and bigger with this exercise, but you’ll also build up and strengthen your biceps, triceps, chest and core muscles. This compound exercise will help give you a physique you can truly be proud of.