The Barbell Overhead Press is a basic exercise in bodybuilding to build strength and muscle mass of the shoulders.
This exercise mainly affects the middle and front bundles of the deltoid muscles. Triceps receive an auxiliary workout. During this exercise, the athlete has the opportunity to work with different weights, which favorably affects the increase in strength and the muscle mass of the shoulders. It should be noted that despite all the benefits of this exercise, it is clearly not enough for a uniform and aesthetic development of the shoulders, since the back part of the deltoid muscles is practically not involved here.
You can choose two variations of this exercise. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Standing Barbell Overhead Press: How To Do & Musces Worked
Standing barbell press is a basic exercise for the deltoid muscles, which also includes many small muscles that act as stabilizers when lifting and holding the barbell. In this version of the exercise, the front bundles of the deltoid muscles are involved to a greater extent than with the barbell press from behind the head.
Technique: stand straight and lift the barbell above your head. Feet shoulder-width apart. As you inhale, slowly lower the bar to the top of your chest. As you exhale, squeeze the bar up.
You can also perform this exercise while sitting.
Do not use inertia. Perform a slow, controlled movement at full amplitude. Do not slouch or round your shoulders. Keep your chest flattened and your shoulder blades flattened.
Seated Barbell Overhead Press: How To Do & Musces Worked
In this version of the exercise, the middle bundles of the deltoid muscles are involved to a greater extent than when pressing the barbell from the chest.
Technique: sit on a bench and firmly rest your feet on the floor. Remove the bar from the racks and lift it above your head. As you inhale, slowly lower the bar behind your head to ear level or slightly lower. As you exhale, squeeze the bar up.
You can also perform this exercise in standing position. But we recommend to perform it in a sitting position on a bench with a back support – this will reduce the pressure on the spine.
Be sure to warm up the muscles before starting the exercise. The grip should not be too narrow or too wide. Performing a bench press, lower the barbell to ear level – this will protect the shoulder joints from the unnecessary stress.
Is military press the same as overhead press?
Not really, they differ in the form. Military press is stricter form of the overhead press, where you stand with your feet together and press a barbell overhead.
Is barbell overhead press bad for shoulders?
No, it isn’t actually bad for the shoulders. The overhead press works the muscles of the shoulder the way they work in real life.
How much should I overhead press?
It depends on your level of fitness. If you continue gaining muscle size and strength, your overhead press numbers will climb ever higher. After a year of training, the average man can lift 145 pounds as their 1-rep max. Usually, 5 reps are done.