T Nation

Overhead Press


I've been lifting for 4 years, but have just started taking the military press seriously. The only other overhead work I have done has been push press and jerks. So I am relatively inexperianced.

Here's the question: When doing heavy overhead presses (>85%1rm) is it normal to feel pain in the shoulders after sets? I don't mean deltoid pain, I mean pain in my shoulders themselves, or will that go away with experiance as my body gets used to the lift?


Most of the time I would say it's abnormal. Anytime you feel shoulder pain it has the potential to be serious.

Make sure you are using correct form in your pressing. You also want to keep up the flexibility in your pec area, lats, front and rear delt regions.

A lack of proper flexibility in one region of the shoulder can shift some mechanical stress to another area.

If it keep up, see a doctor and get an x ray on the area. While I seriously doubt it's anythign to major, it is possible for many conditions to cause shoulder pain, not just the ac joint area.

Make sure you have adequate flexibility and that you're warming up thoroughly. If it persists, see a doctor.


Look into doing rotator cuff work. Imbalances can cause pain. Also look at doing Cosgrove and Waterbury's shoulder work out. I think it is just what you might need to fix and imbalances.



Pain is very "normal" (read: common) AND it is BAD.

Take a professional attitude toward this: read, study, and learn everything you can about safe technique and shoulder anatomy. This site is a good place to direct those efforts.


Not "deltoid" pain, but "shoulder" pain.

I don't understand, is it joint or muscle pain? Does it hurt during the movement or only afterward? Does it hurt through certain ROM or just standing there?

Need more info.


Joint pain. Not through a range of motion, but after I finish my sets.
Not serious pain, but its pretty uncomfortable, and I don't want it to blow to something bigger.
I'll add in some more rotator cuff work. I think I'll use this as a warm up for my bench and overhead presses.