How do you lift heavier weight with the overhead press? Many weightlifters tend to focus on building their chests and arms, often ignoring one of the most outstanding muscle groups, their shoulders. A full, broad, and rounded set of shoulders can give a thick and sturdy look to any physique. While massive shoulders can be challenging to develop, you should focus on the movement that gives you the most bang for your buck, the overhead press.

The overhead press is a classic shoulder exercise proven to deliver nothing short of spectacular results.

Learn the proper exercise technique to avoid injuring your shoulders and develop those powerful deltoids. Start by resting the loaded barbell on a rack, in a safe and secure position. Walk up to the bar and support it by pressing it against the front of your body on your shoulders and upper chest. Take the barbell off its support and move back from any obstructions, so you have enough space to lift.

You can use a normal overhand grip, with your hands placed on the bar just wider than your shoulders. Your foot stance should be about shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outward. Your elbows should cross under the bar so that they are on the opposite side of the bar to your body; that is, they should be visible on the other side of the bar when you look straight ahead. Lift your chest and keep your head straight and facing forward, maintaining this position allows you to lift the weight without excessive strain on your neck as well as helping keep your back straight.

Flex and contract your glutes and your abs to increase stability as you push the bar up, allowing you to drive with more force.

Your press upwards should be explosive as you press in a straight line. Once the barbell passes your forehead, lean your body forward slightly, this will help maintain your balance as you continue the upward movement of the overhead press. Avoid arching your back. The lift section is completed once you lock your elbows with your arms fully extended straight above you. Getting into this locked position will automatically force your chin to drop slightly towards the top of your chest, make sure you continue to look straight ahead.

Once you have held the bar in the locked position above your head, then lower it back down to where it started. Flex your elbows out of their locked position and then slightly lean your body back to its original position while retracting your head to allow the bar to pass back down past it. Now bring the bar back down in a slow controlled movement back to its starting position in front of your shoulders and prepare for the next rep.

When lifting heavier weight with the overhead press, always choose the standing overhead press over seated presses. Pushing heavy weights above your head while standing requires more balancing from your core and involves and activates many more muscles. If HEAVY dumbbells are available, the standing dumbbell overhead press will enable even more muscles from your core!

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