Overhead Press. Your legs are removed from the movement. And your abs
& lower back don’t need to stabilize the weight as much.
You can alternate the Overhead Press with the Seated Press to give your
lower back a break from the heavy Squats & Deadlifts. Keith Wassung
recommends this to improve your Overhead Press.
Lower Back Safety. Arching your spine while loaded can cause lower back
injuries. You can avoid this on the Overhead Press by squeezing your
glutes. This technique doesn’t work as well on the Seated Press. Some
Use Backpadding. Push your lower back against it. Make sure your
head is unsupported so you can tilt your head back while pressing.
Tighten Your Abs. Push your abs out while tightening them. Plant
your feet on the floor and squeeze your calves & glutes hard.
Seated Press Setup. Take the bar out of the uprights & sit down. Or
unrack the bar from the safety pins. Or Power Clean the bar on your
Wide Stance. Wide is more stable than narrow. Use the same stance as
for the Bench Press: push your knees out.
Weight on Heels. Plant your feet into the ground. Curl your toes up
if necessary & squeeze your calves.
Grip Width. About shoulder-width apart. The larger your build, the
wider your grip. Hands should never touch your shoulders.
Gripping the Bar. Grip is same as for the Bench Press. Bar close to
your wrist, in the base of your palm. Not close to your fingers.
Chest Up. Make a big chest & lift it up. Makes it easier to use
your back muscles & shortens the distance the bar has to travel.
Elbows Forward. Elbows in front of the barbell when looking from the
side. Not upper-arms parallel with the floor, it’s not a Front Squat.
Look Forward. Looking up is bad for your neck. Look forward, fix a
point on the wall before you.
The Seated Press. Technique is same as for the Overhead Press. Except
you can’t squeeze your glutes. Don’t let your lower back arch.
Aggressively shift your torso forward as soon as the bar leaves your
Tilt Head Back. Quickly tilt your head back so the bar can pass your
chin/nose without hitting them. Keep looking forward.
Shift Torso Forward. Once the bar reaches forehead level, shift your
torso forward. Continue pressing the weight overhead.
Head Forward. Your chin should almost touch your chest when the
weight is overhead. Look forward, not down.
Lock Everything. Squeeze shoulders, traps & back. Lock your
Common Mistakes. The biggest one is doing the Seated Press like the
Incline Bench Press: starting with your arms extended. The Seated Press
starts with the bar on your chest. Power Clean the bar on each set to
build this habit.
Lower Back Arched. Guaranteed way to injure your lower back. Belts
won’t help. Focus on your technique. Lower the weight if necessary.
Head Supported. You can’t tilt your head back if your head is
supported by the bench. Worst case Press without backpadding.
Looking Up. Makes it impossible to lock out the weight & causes
neck pain. Look forward, including when tilting your head back.
Elbows & Chest.You’ll forget to reposition yourself between reps
at first. Start each rep with elbows in front of the bar & chest
Bar Low. The higher the bar on your chest, the shorter the distance
it has to travel. Put the bar close to your clavicles. Quickly tilt your
head back & forth. Clavicles might hurt at first, your skin will
adapt & thicken