T Nation

Standing Overhead Press


#1

I know this can be a tough lift to progress on and I've tried a few things for long periods of time and definitely plateaued on this. Has anyone else been stuck on this lift but found a way to improve?

I don't necessarily care about my 1RM but I'd like to improve everything in the 1-10 range, tend to stick with 5-10 range and don't test my 1RM that much.


#2

I got better results when I stopped pressing so much (cut down from twice a week overhead to once) and started doing a lot more bodybuilder work for the shoulder (lots of raises, front and side, along with pull aparts).

Strongmanvinny has a sick overhead. Hit him up on his training log.


#3

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I got better results when I stopped pressing so much (cut down from twice a week overhead to once) and started doing a lot more bodybuilder work for the shoulder (lots of raises, front and side, along with pull aparts).

Strongmanvinny has a sick overhead. Hit him up on his training log.[/quote]

The bodybuilder work is probably what I’m lacking here so I can add those. I think I’m good on the frequency, I do pressing once every 4-5 days and overhead only every other pressing workout.


#4

Here are a couple of things you could try:

Set barbell shoulder height on the safety bar in a power rack and reset each rep
2 Hand clean and then 1 hand dumbbell press, should not degrade into bent press
Push Press - heavier weight possible than strict


#5

Technique
-From Punisher’s log; get the barbell “deep” in your hands. Don’t hold it in your fingers, grab the bar deep in the crease of your thumb, just like bench pressing. This keeps the bar over the bones of your forearm, instead of supported by your hands with your wrists all folded back. Straight wrists make your elbows and upper back and everything line up reeal nice.

-Lower body and midsection locked in, almost like the top of squat. This doesn’t always come natural for me. For warm-ups, I loop a band over my belt, then step through the ends of the band. It tries to bend you over forward, any you really have to drive with the abs, hips and glutes, brace and spread the floor, to stay upright. After a few light sets, remove the band and you’ll feel like a pillar.

I like to hit some bottoms up kettlebell presses before real presses. You have to get good wrist position and upper back tightness to press the bell. Its like a more strict press. If you do them in the half kneeling position they can get your hips and mid section warmed up to press too.

Pull aparts are good. Don’t forget to do some with bent arms, almost trying to recreate the bottom of a press. And some with an under handed grip. Or some bent forward at the waist. Learn to get tight at a bunch of different angles.

I’m also taking Yogi’s advice and working on my lower traps. Prone trap raises, and snatch grip shrugs, leaning forward in the Smith machine. And I just started doing Yates rows to copy Bauber. So hopefully those will help my press.

Its really easy to add some seated dumbbell presses, or high incline dumbbell presses as assistance on bench press day. Dumbbells always help me with bar-path. And maybe shoulder size, but that could be all in my head.


#6

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#7

The Z Press will change your life. Do it off pins.


#8

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
I’m also taking Yogi’s advice and working on my lower traps. [/quote]

good lad, the world needs more like you.

Lower trap work is great, it can have an immediate effect on how your shoulders feel (if done as an activation exercise/warm up type deal) and it’s easy to sneak it in between sets of stuff.

Bands are good for prone trap raises as they follow the line of pull exactly. Get on all fours - “doggie,” if you will - kneel on the band and do them that way. Great contraction in the mid/lower traps that way.

Cable scarecrows are good too


#9

Yogi- if you wanted me crawling around on the floor, you got me. That doggy raise is a good one. A rear delt raise/fly motion really felt natural right after.

For better presses, did anybody say triceps and dips yet?


#10

Using a close grip, and focusing on “pushing your head through your arms” are great technique ques if you aren’t already using them. You also need a strong upper back, triceps, and abs to be a good presser. Check out Strongmanvinny, he should have some good info for you.