T Nation

Overhead Press Bar Depth


I have a question for strong overhead pressers, how far do you bring the barbell down after you press?? to chin level or nose level? or lower? ive been trying to bring my ohp up, and wondered if tht truly mattered


if it helps any I use a false grip with 1 thumbs width grip from outside the smooth part of the bar (the middle) and have my elbows turned out slightly


This is something I've wondered also. I was told to lower it around chin level but it was by my old wrestling coach so I don't know how reliable he was for lifting information.


If you trying to get STRONGER, go as low as you can with proper pressing mechanics (tight traps, elbows directly under bar etc...)
but you said youre just trying to bring your OH press up, so if you just want to use more weight you could probably get away with lowering it an inch or two above your chest


You could try a similar approach as the article recently posted for bench, squats and deads- i.e.

a1) forehead to lockout, 3x6-8
a2) pull up, pronated grip

b1) chin to lockout, 3x6-8
b2) chin up

c1) full r-o-m, 3x6-8
c2) parallel-grip pull up

Just an idea, I could be way off the mark so anybody more knowledgeable than me feel free to say whatever you want about my post (or my personal hygiene).


Here's the link to the article if you want it:


Edit: I have just checked and the set/rep was 3x4-6, not 6-8


I lower to my clavicles. About where you would have it for a front squat or to catch a clean - for me it feels like the natural stopping position of the bar for an OHP. Like WRPL said, keep everything tight and treat it like any other lift.


Bringing the barbel down to nose level doesn't give me the proper stretch reflex, which makes OHP's a lot easier. I lift the barbel out at chin level, lower it to chest for reflex and press for first rep. Every rep after that is to the chest as well. Also finding the right timing to move forward and under the barbel is very helpfull. I combine 1 day in the week with strict OHP's and another day a push/jerk technique on log/barbel.


hmm thanx for all those ideas guys, ive been trying going to just below my chin, it works pretty good.


Press from only as low as your shoulder joint feels comfortable. The shoulder joint is a tricky one, and many people try to use a range of motion that is larger than their joint enjoys. I having had my joint analyzed now I only push from my chin, because any lower and it would mean I would have to sag my traps, or pull my elbows behind me so that it hits my neck.

Up your frequency, lower your reps, up your sets. 3 important variations - strict form, from center of cranium, and push press.