3 tips to MAXIMIZE your Overhead Press | How-To Guide and Tutorial

 

Movement #3 in the 6 foundational movement series is the Overhead Press. 

Common problems I see in the overhead press are arching of the lower back, flaring of the rib cage , and forward head movement.These patterns are not efficient and can lead to back and shoulder discomfort. 

In this blog, I will outline and teach you simple but powerful steps you can do to improve form, coordination, and breathing in your overhead press.

 

First, lets get into a good pressing position.

 

Alignment

Starting in a standing position, you want to think about keeping your hips pointing forward and tailbone down. Next, the middle point of your rib cage should be down while keeping your torso long. Your eyes should be facing forward and chin down and slightly tucked. In this position, your torso should feel tall and long, as if you had a string pulling from the top of your head and connecting down to your heels.

  • Hips Forward and tailbone down
  • Rib cage down
  • Head forward and chin slightly tucked 
  • Torso = tall and long

 

For the wrist, you want to make sure that you have a strong grip and your knuckles should be pointing up and with a straight line from wrist down to elbow.

  • Strong Grip 
  • Knuckles Up
  • Straight Line from Wrist to Elbow



Coordination

For the overhead press you want to think about both the pushing up of the fist and pulling down of the elbow. This will activate muscle surrounding the entire shoulder to give you a stronger and more stable press while maximizing control throughout.

 

Now that you have a better understanding of the press let's look at the full movement with everything together.

 

As you go through the movement keep in mind each step we have worked on from the position to the movement. Start with a slow movement pattern to make sure you do it correctly. As you become more comfortable with the movement you can pick up the speed and try heavier weight for more of a challenge.

 

Lastly, lets talk about breathing. 

 

Breathing 

You always want to make sure to have a good steady breathing pattern. This step can help both increase stability and endurance of the movement.  A simple but effective pattern would be to exhale as you push your fist up and inhale as you pull your elbow down to the starting position. Whichever breathing pattern you use is up to you, but make sure to keep it consistent and steady.

Fist push = Exhale 

Elbow Pull = Inhale 

 

 

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