by Mike Scialabba
How much can you bench? Do you know? Well of course you do, it's the bench press for heaven's sake! Now do you know how much you can overhead press? If you do, you're a few steps ahead of the majority of weight lifters.
So much attention towards upper body strength gets pinned on the bench press, leaving the overhead press a mere shadow in the department of overall power.
Why is this a problem?
Two reasons: First, we move heavy objects over our heads possibly as frequently as we move them forward in our daily lives, and secondly the overhead press is an exceptional lift for developing strong, thick and stable shoulder girdles.
How to do it
Unfortunately a lot of lifters that are doing this lift, aren't completely doing it correctly. There are a few methods of overhead pressing, however here we'll just focus on the most basic.
The Standing Barbell Overhead Press
Stand with your feet in a solid base position, either right under your hips, or slightly outside the hips. Tuck your glutes underneath you bracing the core. Hold the barbell with your hands gripped right outside the shoulder. Hold the bar at the collar bone, with the wrists slightly back, and the elbows pushed underneath the load. Press the bar towards the ceiling and slightly 'behind' the head. Straighten the wrists as you move the load upward and fully lock out the elbows. You should be at a peak position with the biceps in mid-line with the ears.
Once you're fully locked out, drop the wrists back while lowering the load back down, allowing the elbows to move forward catching the load right back where you started.
If the movement causes pain, you may wanted to look into other variations of the overhead press, or move onto some rehab exercises to get your shoulders healthy again.
Always shoot for a full range of motion, and don't be afraid to let your legs help out a bit, converting the movement into a 'push/press'.
Now go unto the wilderness of the weight room, and press something over your big head!
Look, even hot chicks overhead press!
This exclusive article (and others) can be found in the latest Wannabebig Serious About Muscle Newsletter - August 20th, 2010
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