The overhead press is one of the most comprehensive full body workouts, but it is also one that is consistently performed incorrectly. While it may seem that the press is purely an upper body exercise, you actually use your lower body and core to stabilize the movement as you employ your upper chest, arms and shoulders to press the weight overhead.
Another perk to this peppy press is that it works all the shoulder muscles equally, so you get one of the very best shoulder workouts in one simple move.
The move is simple, yes, but like many exercises, a lack of understanding about lifting safety can lead to injury. Here’s how to perform an overhead press safely and effectively.
Grip the barbell close to your wrists in the palm of your hands. Both your hands and feet should be positioned shoulder-width apart. When looking at yourself from the side, your elbows should be in front of the bar. Engage your core to support the exercise.
Squeeze your butt - hard. This will make it impossible for you to hyperextend your spine and injure your lower back.
Lift your chest and tilt your head back slightly so the bar doesn’t hit your chin or nose.
Press the barbell up overhead. As it passes your chest, tilt your torso forward and bring your chin down - but do not look down. Focus straight ahead. Bring the bar back down to your clavicle. Repeat.
Start light and master form before you challenge yourself with resistance. Gradually increase your weight.
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