T Nation

Help Needed With Overhead Press

EDITED (again)

For overheaded presses wherein you use a barbell and lower it to the top of your chest:

  1. How should the proper form be with regards to your elbows, upper arms, and shoulders?

a. Should the upper arms be directly on the side of your torso and positioned perpendicular to the floor and with your shoulders squared back?

Or

b. Should the upper arms be angled slightly in front of your torso so that the elbow is under/ slightly in front of the barbell? And if so, should the shoulders still be squared back? I find that when I position my upper arms this way, I find it hard to keep the shoulders squared (shoulder blades pinched back), as the shoulders tend to roll forwards.

  1. And during the movement, should the upper arms be angled slightly forward or directly in line with the torso?

a. Keeping the upper arms sligthly forward lets you keep the elbow in line with your hands. But this position seems to put most of the load and strain on the anterior delts.

b. However, when you keep your upper arms in line with your torso, the barbell gets moved in front of your elbows when you press up which feels awkward as well.

  1. Should the elbows be kept more-or-less directly in line with the hands during the entire movement?

My elbows tend to flare out midway (in order to move the upper arms in line with my torso). Is this wrong?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, I really need to get this movement right

I really think your making the movement alot harder than what it is. Place your hands more than shoulder width apart. Lower the bar to your clavicle, then press overhead. If you need visual help search the forum for “Shoulders Overhaul” there’s pictures and descriptions on how to do the overhead press.

I tend to agree with the previous poster, don’t think so much about it, just find the grip-width that you find comfortable, lift… :slight_smile: it isn’t harder than that, just be careful not to lean too far back and push your head “trough” the bar.

[quote]serious_guy wrote:
I really think your making the movement alot harder than what it is. Place your hands more than shoulder width apart. Lower the bar to your clavicle, then press overhead. If you need visual help search the forum for “Shoulders Overhaul” there’s pictures and descriptions on how to do the overhead press.[/quote]

I checked ‘shoulders overhaul’ before I posted this, it only show the beginning and end, and doesn’t really get into the detail.

Simply just ‘doing the exercise’ doesn’t really work for me. For example, I really had to exame my bench press in order to get it done right.

Basically, for the shoudler press… should your elbows be in line with your hands for the entire movement?

Thanks for the feedback tho

Vary your placement and angle of elbow for the best of all. each will attack different areas of emphasis.

he main thing was stated above to do this and any movement in a way that causes no Pain. Hard challanging yes, Pain no.

[quote]Phill wrote:
Vary your placement and angle of elbow for the best of all. each will attack different areas of emphasis.

he main thing was stated above to do this and any movement in a way that causes no Pain. Hard challanging yes, Pain no. [/quote]

With regard to varying the placement to change the emphasis:

Is it correct that the further in front your upper arms are, the more emphasis on the anterior deltoids? And the more your upper arms are directly to the side of your torso, the more emphasis on the side deltoids?