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“Over Head Press Rules”

Hello Comrades

this post is about Rules,

the Rules of overhead pressing.


The Over Head Press Rules!

The OH Press is my favorite exercise for both health and strength reasons.


Health reasons:

  • if you never lift your arms up past your chest, you will loose the overhead range of motion needed for a healthy shoulder – current Neurosciences agree:  “if you don’t use it, you loose it”
  • using a greater range of motion improves movement mapping in the brain, allowing the athlete to become more in touch with their body and maximizing their movement abilities

Strength reasons:

  • with greater range of motion more muscles are used, increasing stability at the shoulder joint
  • a much higher abdominal contraction occurs as you press overhead, more so than in any other type of press – that’s right, pressing will give your abs a hell of a workout ( when done properly)
  • the OH press is a better test of athleticism than the bench press because the bench press artificially decreases stability demands and is not as ‘functional’ as the OH press – being stable is more important than being strong in the long run.



If you are convinced to press overhead here are some RULES to follow when pressing, if you follow them you will most likely be doing it well enough and safe enough to practice on your own.

  1. keep you legs (glutes and quads) tight!
  2. keep your shoulders down (LatsOn!) – especially as your arm starts to move and throughout the entire movement.
  3. your elbow MUST remain UNDER your wrist at all times (if you are having difficulty with this try a ‘Bottoms Up’ Press or a ‘wall-slide press’)Bottoms Up Press
    * note the elbow alignment (and Tyler in the mirror:)

    Wall-Slide Press
    * keep elbow away from wall, but hand close to the wall, this creates ‘external rotation’ or torque, while pressing which increases the stability of all the joints involved.
    ** try squeezing a ball as you slide your arm up and down the wall, the trick is to manipulate the shoulder/elbow so that your body does not have to move away from the wall

  4. Breathe out on the way up, Breathe in on the way down.
  5. Do NOT use the muscles of your face and neck – never let your enemy know you are struggling! Zen-Buddha face, always.


Keep these Rules in mind and remember to work without pain and within your own limits and you will have safe, healthy and strong shoulders for life.

All you have to do is practice with patience and awareness!


All the best 🙂