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.
- 1Rack the bar at about shoulder height
- 2Grab the bar at shoulder width, lift your elbows up and below the bar for good support
- 3Un-rack the bar and take a couple steps back
- 4Place feet at about shoulder width, comfortably
- 5Keep torso straight and head looking slightly up
- 6Push the barbell up and over your head
- 7Contract the shoulders up top and keep that flexion for 1 second
- 8Let 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.