Barbell Overhead Press

Doing compound movements should be your main priority when your goal is gaining muscle.

Compound movements engage more than 1 muscle group.

The more muscles engaged, the heavier we can lift. The heavier we lift, the bigger the growth stimulus.

This specific exercise is a classic one for the shoulders – It mostly engages the shoulders, but also involves its synergists – The triceps and the upper chest, though at a lesser extent.

On the barbell overhead press i recommend that you lift fairly heavy on this move in the 6-10 rep range. Perform 5 total sets per shoulder workout and rest no more than 90 seconds between sets.

execution

  1. 1
    Rack the bar at about shoulder height
  2. 2
    Grab the bar at shoulder width, lift your elbows up and below the bar for good support
  3. 3
    Un-rack the bar and take a couple steps back
  4. 4
    Place feet at about shoulder width, comfortably
  5. 5
    Keep torso straight and head looking slightly up
  6. 6
    Push the barbell up and over your head
  7. 7
    Contract the shoulders up top and keep that flexion for 1 second
  8. 8
    Let the bar go down slowly to its initial position
Note that if you are experiencing shoulder discomfort and/or pain, you should consider having the initial position be at about chin height – Don’t let the bar go all the way down.

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