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Hyperextension and OH Press


I'm doing 5-3-1 OH Pressing. On my max reps set I'm arching really hard and getting very mild irritation in my back. How do I stop this before I get big problems (I don't use a belt, But I do squeeze my glutes together)? Am I not meant to be arching at all (it doesn't look anything like those Olympic Lifters from the early 70s who turned the press into an incline bench)?


Work on your shoulder and thorasic mobility.
Drop the weight down to something you can do with good form.


You shouldn't be arching your back. You should be pushing your hips forwards using your glutes and pushing your abs out hard. There's a good video on youtube where Mark Rippetoe demonstrates this difference really well.


As others said, brace your abs and squeeze your glutes; strengthening those muscle groups will help you, as long as stretching/foam rolling your hips flexors (quads and ileo-psoas).

A bit of arch in the lower back is almost impossible to avoid, when pressing near maximal weights.


You should also be pressing the bar over the top of your head. Once it clears your head, bar should be going back slightly and you should push your head forward just a bit to finish with the bar directly over your head at lockout. If you do this, it's nearly impossible to over-arch during the top half of the lift.


It depends on why you are leaning back... if you are weak in your core, glutes, hips, etc fix that. BUT if you are leaning back because you move more weight like the old time pressers, turning the lift into a standing bench press, stop that.


Try breathing in at the top of the lift with the weight OH, then hold it as you lower then exhale again as you press it up. You will get a little bit of a bounce and it may help to keep you tighter.


I've definitely found that keeping my reps quick and using the stretch reflex available makes the OHP a lot easier on my whole body



Good video


You can do them seated...


"you could leg press, but that's gay, so we just call it a press"......good ol boy Rippetoe.....

This video was what helped me learn to press when I was coming up as a wee lad....good shit.


This is still happening and it's driving me nuts. I tried bracing my core and squeezing my glutes but I still got this irritation a few hours after lifting that can be elicited when I arch my back.

I'm going to buy a Titan lever belt - I read somewhere that someone particularly recommends a belt for OHPressing. Does anyone agree? (I'm not going to wear the belt for other exercises except when maxing out.)

--- Is a belt the answer to all my OHPressing problems??? I just don't see what I'm doing that is massively wrong form-wise.


Do you use a false grip? I tend to get less low-back arch, and the bar path is better when I do that.