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Thread: OH press--a top ten exercise?

  1. #1
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    OH press--a top ten exercise?

    What makes an exercise a good exercise? Most people would agree that judging an exercise by how effective it is makes a good exercise. One of the most important criteria then in judging the effectiveness is how much muscle it stimulates. Again most people would agree that overall the deadlift is a better exercise than the bicep curl in this regard (as well as most others).

    Let's examine the OH press by this standard.

    Deadlifts, squats, bench press, chin, dips, barbell row, T-bar row, leg press. clean and jerk, and snatch are all good compound exercises and ALL work more muscle than a strict OH press. As we can see the OH press doesn't even make the top ten. As for arguments about "core" I would posit that if you can use more weight in these other exercises, that your core is worked harder. (It is assumed that good form is used throughout). Furthermore if you have a lot of indirect shoulder work you may not even need this exercise.


    While the OH press may be a good exercise for intermediate and advanced lifters (I do some OH pressing myself) I believe that beginners should stick to other compound exercises that work more muscles.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 08-06-2006 at 09:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Hulk Smash! LouPac's Avatar
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    I don't know, I think everyone should do it. While it may not work a majority of muscle that other compound exercises do, it's still one hell of a movement for increasing one's strength.

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    On My Way..... rbar89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Songsangnim
    What makes an exercise a good exercise? Most people would agree that judging an exercise by how effective it is makes a good exercise. One of the most important criteria then in judging the effectiveness is how much muscle it stimulates. Again most people would agree that overall the deadlift is a better exercise than the bicep curl in this regard (as well as most others).

    Let's examine the OH press by this standard.

    Deadlifts, squats, bench press, chin, dips, barbell row, T-bar row, leg press. clean and jerk, and snatch are all good compound exercises and ALL work more muscle than a strict OH press. As we can see the OH press doesn't even make the top ten. As for arguments about "core" I would posit that if you can use more weight in these other exercises, that your core is worked harder. (It is assumed that good form is used throughout). Furthermore if you have a lot of indirect shoulder work you may not even need this exercise.


    While the OH press may be a good exercise for intermediate and advanced lifters (I do some OH pressing myself) I believe that beginners should stick to other compound exercises that work more muscles.
    I think one of the reasons it is important is because u do a lot of it in the real world.
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    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    That's my reasoning behind it. How often are you pinned under something you need to bench to escape compared to how often do you need to put something heavy up higher than your shoulders?
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    What if I were to say that the squat is not a big 3 exercise, because the deadlift, hex bar deadlift, and romanian deadlift all recruit more muscle? This would be a bit absurd, as there is a great amount of overlap between these movements.

    In other words, in your list, I see both the squat and the leg press. We also have the BB row and the T Bar row (not sure what this is, but they sound pretty similar). I think if the redundency is removed, a shoulder exercise has to make it into the top 10.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShockBoxer
    That's my reasoning behind it. How often are you pinned under something you need to bench to escape compared to how often do you need to put something heavy up higher than your shoulders?

    Excepting the gym, I rarely need to do either.

    How often do you need to pick something heavy off the floor compared to how often do you need to put something heavy up higher than your shoulders? The deadlift is more of a real world movement than the OH press...but I like how everybody fastens on to the bench press, even though it was only ONE out of ten that I mentioned.

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    Hulk Smash! LouPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Songsangnim
    Excepting the gym, I rarely need to do either.

    How often do you need to pick something heavy off the floor compared to how often do you need to put something heavy up higher than your shoulders? The deadlift is more of a real world movement than the OH press...but I like how everybody fastens on to the bench press, even though it was only ONE out of ten that I mentioned.
    OK, just take the real world out of it.

    When it comes to working out in the gym, your shoulders are used in ~90% of your exercises, stronger shoulders = more strength in other exercises, and OH presses are probably the best way to get stronger shoulders.

    /rant

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    oh presses are the true test of upper body strength, if you can stirct press 315 IMO its more impressive then benching 315.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rrolack
    (1) What if I were to say that the squat is not a big 3 exercise, because the deadlift, hex bar deadlift, and romanian deadlift all recruit more muscle? This would be a bit absurd, as there is a great amount of overlap between these movements.

    In other words, in your list,(2) I see both the squat and the leg press. We also have the BB row and the T Bar row (not sure what this is, but they sound pretty similar). I think if the redundency is removed, a shoulder exercise has to make it into the top 10.

    (numbers are mine)

    1. I'd have to say that you were wrong. First off the Romanian deadlift is primarily for hamstrings and is not a true deadlift. It does not recruit more muscle than a squat. Secondly a hex bar deadlift and an straight bar deadlift are BOTH DEADLIFTS. In other words they are the same exercise performed with a different piece of equipment. And there's a fair amount of overlap between the squat and deadlift, yet they are regarded as different exercises.


    2. The squat is not the same as a leg press, not nearly as much as a hex bar deadlift and straight bar. Not even close.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 08-06-2006 at 10:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumprrp
    oh presses are the true test of upper body strength, if you can stirct press 315 IMO its more impressive then benching 315.
    Yeah, no kidding man! lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumprrp
    oh presses are the true test of upper body strength, if you can stirct press 315 IMO its more impressive then benching 315.

    We are judging exercises by how much muscle they recruit, not hypothetical examples of impressive feats. Most people will never be able to bench press 315 (at least for reps) let alone OH press 315. But most people will be able to bench quite a bit more than they are able to OH press. Even if they work both hard.

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    Wannabebig New Member HahnB's Avatar
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    Big capped shoulders look badass, that's why everyone should do them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HahnB
    Big capped shoulders look badass, that's why everyone should do them.
    another good reason

    im not sure but i feel some lat involvment when i overhead press.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HahnB
    Big capped shoulders look badass, that's why everyone should do them.

    And these "big capped shoulders" can be achieved no other way?

    Certainly they look badass, however exactly how does that pertain to the disscussion under hand?

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    youre a little late. ive already made a post about this a while back questioning why overhead presses arent used in competitions, or hell in general, as much as the other 3, with many positive responses.

    and by the way, the overhead press is a partial olympic lift, so putting down clean and jerk and snatch as better lifts then OH press is a bit reduntant and obvious, wouldnt you say?

    forgot top 10, how about top 4.
    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...ight=shoulders

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    Quote Originally Posted by Songsangnim
    And these "big capped shoulders" can be achieved no other way?

    Certainly they look badass, however exactly how does that pertain to the disscussion under hand?
    can a thick back be built without deadlifts? how about big legs without squats?

    think about it man.
    and it most certainly does pertain to this discussion, look at the name of the forum we are in. or we could move this thread to the powerlifting forum and people would still agree with me.

    and who cares how much muscle it recruits? how does that make one lift more important than another?
    Last edited by greathuskie; 08-07-2006 at 02:09 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by greathuskie
    (1) youre a little late. ive already made a post about this a while back questioning why overhead presses arent used in competitions, or hell in general, as much as the other 3, with many positive responses.

    (2) and by the way, the overhead press is a partial olympic lift, so putting down clean and jerk and snatch as better lifts then OH press is a bit reduntant and obvious, wouldnt you say?

    (3) forgot top 10, how about top 4.
    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...ight=shoulders
    (numbers are mine)

    1. This is different though. We aren't talking about why OH presses aren't used in competition or as much as the other three. We are attempting to judge the efficiency of it.

    2. No it isn't an olympic lift at all.

    (3) Personal preference or opinion is not under debate here. What IS under debate is how much muscle it recruits, and by THAT standard it is most certainly not a top four exercise.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 08-07-2006 at 03:38 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by greathuskie
    can a thick back be built without deadlifts? how about big legs without squats?

    (1) think about it man.

    (2) and it most certainly does pertain to this discussion, look at the name of the forum we are in. or we could move this thread to the powerlifting forum and people would still agree with me.

    (3) and who cares how much muscle it recruits? (4) how does that make one lift more important than another?
    (numbers are mine)

    (1) You know that was a rhetorical question. Right?

    (2) The name of the forum has nothing to do with it. People post about their relationship problems all the time and this site isn't called brokenheart.com or whatever.

    (3) How much muscle it recruits/stimulates WAS THE ORIGINAL TOPIC. If you want to debate something else, please start your own thread as I did.

    (4). I can't believe you are asking that question. That's like asking how does that make the deadlift more important then a bicep curl. Or for that matter how does that make compound exercises better than isolation exercises.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 08-07-2006 at 03:39 AM.

  19. #19
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Songsangnim
    Excepting the gym, I rarely need to do either.

    How often do you need to pick something heavy off the floor compared to how often do you need to put something heavy up higher than your shoulders? The deadlift is more of a real world movement than the OH press...but I like how everybody fastens on to the bench press, even though it was only ONE out of ten that I mentioned.
    Where not only do I need to hold up my end of a couch or wall unit on a regular basis (go deadlifting) but push it up into the back of a cube van at a 45 degree angle. Alternatively I need to stack 60 or 70 pound boxes into the back of a van to the ceiling, half of which are above shoulder height and one or two of which are on tiptoe level. I'm not a mover or anything... I just have the fortune of being one of the only men who work for my company so if a particularly large order comes into the warehouse (two big guys are always on staff to handle the day to day stuff) I get drafted from my cushy IT job.
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    the press used to be an olympic lift and its a DAMN shame it isnt, there were people pressing 400 lbs overhead, that is just PURE POWER.
    2000 or bust

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumprrp
    the press used to be an olympic lift and its a DAMN shame it isnt, there were people pressing 400 lbs overhead, that is just PURE POWER.
    500+, actually. But with a large backward lean, which is why it was dropped.

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  22. #22
    Senior Member Doobs's Avatar
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    If we're just going by how much muscle is activated, my top 10 would be:

    back squat
    front squat
    box squat
    overhead squat
    zercher squat
    conventional deadlift
    sumo deadlift
    snatch-grip deadlift
    zercher deadlift
    leg press

    On your original list, if I were making a program I would put front squats in instead of leg press, and OH press in for either dips or T-bar rows.

  23. #23
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Besides going by muscle activation, in which case every exercise is basically a deadlift or squat variation as Doobs lists, there are a couple of reasonable sets of criteria to go by: bodybuilding effectiveness, functionality, etc.

    Functionality wise, I think it would be something like, in no particular order:
    deadlift
    clean
    push press
    pullup
    push up
    squat
    bent over row
    lunge
    rope climb
    turkish get up

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  24. #24
    Amateur Strongman Dinosaur's Avatar
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    Rating the leg press as a better compound movement than overhead pressing. Too funny.

    For real-world strength, upper-body bulk, impressive shoulders, and virtually anything else, you need to press weight overhead. This is a no-brainer.

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    im giving up on you. muscle recruitment and use from a single exercise has nothing to do with how good the exercise is. if it was we wouldnt be weight lifting, we would be rock climbing.

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