If you want to get a stronger OHP (overhead press) and feel like you’ve been stuck at the same weight for a long time, then these will be the best 25 seconds you ever watched. Everyone knows that one of the staple exercises for bigger shoulders is the overhead press. Preferably this is performed in every shoulder workout. That said, there are two things you can do every time you do the exercise that are going to instantly increase your strength on this popular shoulder exercise.
The first thing you want to do when you approach the bar is focus on your grip. Many people take a grip that is too wide. What this does is it takes you out of your mechanically strongest position to overhead press the most weight possible. It also takes the shoulders out of their safest joint position in the process.
Let’s talk about the pressing part first.
With a narrow grip on the bar you are going to see that your elbows travel in front of the body during the press rather than directly out to the sides. This allows you to get better recruitment of the triceps during the press which ultimately leads to a stronger total on the lift. On any pressing exercise you want to get the chest, shoulders and triceps working together when the goal is to get as strong as possible. When performing the OHP, you need to not forget about the benefit that strong triceps play in getting you to your strongest possible on the exercise.
Not only does the increased triceps involvement help increase your OHP strength, but the position of the elbows forward demands that the shoulders get out of the position of being pointed directly out to the sides of the body. This is incredibly important when it comes to the long term health of the shoulder joint. The scapular plane, as it is known, is an angle where the arm points forward at about 30-45 degrees from the side. This is the natural position that the shoulder joint likes to move in, and can do so the safest with least risk of impingement.
A more narrow grip on the barbell overhead press is going to allow the shoulder to reach this natural position more easily.
From here, you want to start pressing. That said, you want to be sure that you don’t forget to do the second most important tip in this video. That is, be sure to squeeze the glutes together before you initiate the overhead press. Tightening the glutes instantly plugs the energy leaks that propagate up the kinetic chain and sap you of your overall top end strength.
The way to have the strongest overhead press is to ensure that any power that you generate through your legs is not lost through a weakened core. With the glutes being one of the major core muscles, you want to be sure that you are not forgetting about them when you are getting ready to perform the lift. That said, start by squeezing your butt together as hard as you can just before pushing the bar up overhead.
See if for yourself. This simple act is going to greatly increase your pressing strength. Try a rep with engaging the glutes and try one without. You’ll notice the difference instantly.
Speaking of instantly, if you do the two things I show you here I promise you are going to see a quick improvement in the amount of weight that you can press on the OHP. Almost every time, no matter what weight you are lifting right now, the inclusion of these two tips to your next shoulder workout are going to result in you lifting more weight and getting stronger on the overhead press.
Give it a try and when you are ready to put the same level of science into all of your strength workouts and build a ripped athletic body in 90 days, be sure to head over to athleanx.com via the link below and use the program selector tool to find the plan best suited to your current goals of getting big shoulders and a stronger body.
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