T Nation

Overhead Press Question...

Alright, so I’m reading Starting Strength and my overhead press has finally started to go up. In the book Rip says to start with the bar resting on the meaty part of the shoulders. Check, I can do that for the most part, but do you press from a resting position on the shoulders for each rep or just lower the bar to about the base of the neck without actually stopping it on the shoulders?

When I press I’ll typically touch it to the top of my chest for a brief moment and power it back up. I don’t really “rest” it, but I don’t “bounce” or “heave” it either. Just a slight touch to know that the ROM on every rep is constant.

This approach also helps me keep my scaps retracted and my lats engaged throughout the lift. I like to think of the eccentric portion of the lift as if I’m doing a lat pulldown.

Here’s a vid from last fall…the last I could gather up. I haven’t actually haven’t done standing press for awhile, as I’ve been focusing mostly on seated DB for shoulders as I’ve shifted my focus to more aesthetics these days.

But yea, obviously not perfect, just what I found to work best with my leverages. I’m not telling you what to do though. There are many different “acceptable” forms here. You need to find what grooves best with your structures, strength levels, and any past injuries you may have.


I prefer cleaning the weight from the floor and resting on the meat for 1-2 seconds between reps. Depends on how flexible your wrists are. FIND. out, WHAT WORKS FOR U BRah.

I don’t see any point in forcing your body to go too deep when you don’t have the mobility for it or if it hurts. When you’re at the bottom of a military press your shoulders are in their weakest position so if it doesn’t make sense for you, don’t go to your chest for every rep. In the meanwhile, work on your mobility and flexibility. It can’t hurt.