T Nation

Overhead Press Assistance Exercise?


#1

I can hold the weight properly almost all the time during a rep, the only time where i struggle and struggle hard is at the top position. I dont feel stable and my arms go backwards or i lean backwards a bit so i can hold the weight properly but than get some lower back pain. So what exercises i could do to help this problem considering i do a push/pull split so theres not much room for many exercises to add.


#2

Have you tried any overhead pressing lockouts off the pins in a rack?

Put the safety bars/pins, whatever you want to call them, so the barbell is starting at your forehead. Press off the pins from a dead stop for every rep. Program them with anything from reps of 3s, 5s, 8s, and 10s. It forces you to start with a tight body and squeezing your glutes, otherwise the bar won’t budge.


#3

No i didnt but thanks for the tip. Would it be fine to do it in a smith machine? The rack i have access to is pretty low to start from a position that high.


#4

Honestly it would be fairly pointless (or a waste of your time) to do it in a smith machine. I’m not anti smith machine, it just wouldn’t serve the appropriate purpose you’re looking for.

Another option worth possibly exploring is the Savickas press.

You could also try the push press, if you need to put some heavier weight in your hands, but my experience with the push press is that it is almost all technique driven. Though, it does help some people.


#5

The savickas press would work i think i try that one. Would i need to lock out on every rep?


#6

Can’t go wrong with dips and pull aparts.


#7

Pull aparts fine, as far as dips go i can do only assisted dips as of now(extremly weak stuff i know but atleast i try).

I’ve been reading about face pulls and turkish get ups, would those be fine?


#8

Face pulls definitely, Turkish get ups I guess. I’m not sold on them them though. I’d just do assisted dips until you can do unassisted. Z presses too.


#9

Also another question, i finally got some sense knocked into me to settle on a push pull split going away from too much focus on pointless things and i have now an issue with programming.

Thing is, i dont really know how to put together effectively chest,shoulders and triceps with dips in it. My initial thought was this:

Flat BB bench 3x5
OHP 3x5
Dips 4x6
Incline DB bench 2x12
Skullcrusher 2x12
V-bar pressdown 2x12

But wouldnt that be overkill for chest twice a week considering the amount of front delt work?(i do side and rear delts on pull day)


#10

I’d probably drop the incline DB and do more dips instead (say total 50, assisted until you’re able to do unassisted).


#11

But than there would be no upper chest work, or thats again thinking morew about secondary things? :smiley:


#12

You’ll hit your upper chest doing OHP.


#13

Secondary things. If you bench, press and dip you’ll develop pretty much everything you need to at this stage.


#14

Maybe some light weighted carries? Hold the bar with very light weight over your head at that top position and walk about 30ish steps. I don’t really count the steps when I do weighted carries, I just carry it the width of the weight room.


#15

What do you do for triceps?


#16

For me my overhead stability improved with doing a lot more core work along with shoulder stability movements such as YTWL I saw from Alan Thrall, and the pull aparts


#17

If you’re losing balance, then a weak core is your issue. You should be trying to punch your head through (forward), when locking out. Trap, rhomboid and rear delt weaknesses will really show up on heavier attempts if your not able to lock it out that last inch or two. Strengthening your triceps with seated half presses off pins will help you with building momentum through the transition phase. Use lower reps and pause on the pins for a few seconds before every rep.


#18

In all honesty at the end of my 1st ever push workout i was so tired i couldnt finish my tricep work but i aimed to do 2x15 incline french press and 2x15 rope extensions overhead.


#19

Ah ok that explains it -you just need to get all over strong ie. it will pass once you get out of newb territory.

Also for triceps hit french press/skull crushers very sparingly for long term elbow and pressing health. Preferably just do 4x15 rope extensions most workouts. Band pressdowns good for lockout and triceps in general also


#20

Check your stance. If your feet are too close together or too wide, you won’t have a stable base. You can also use a staggered stance, kinda like this but further apart-sideways if necessary:

Then don’t try to put something together. Use a pre-designed plan written by someone who knows what they’re doing. Follow it, and eventually learn how to program for yourself. This is one solid push-pull plan.