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7 Incredible Overhead Press Benefits You Probably Don’t Know About

We all wish to stay fit and build an impressive physique. Overhead presses are some of the most appropriate exercises that can help you developed that long-desired physique. It is however quite unfortunate that most fitness coaches tend to avoid these workout routines. Most trainees similarly avoid them in favor of bench presses.

The following are some of the most incredible overhead press benefits.



7 Incredible Overhead Press Benefits

It Is An Inclusive Body Workout


This Olympic-style body workout delivers an incredible workout regimen to the entire body. To many gym spectators, exercises such as the military press may seem to be beneficial to only the upper body. Unbeknown to such individuals, the overhead press benefits the whole body. This is because all body parts starting with the shoulder muscles play a role whenever you make an overhead press.

Muscles found in the arm, chest, the upper back and even the lower body parts work in unison to support the weight lifted. For maximum efficiency, it is advisable that the main muscles found in your lower body be statically contracted. This means that you must flex them without moving them while making the overhead press.

The entire routine can be strenuous, more so if you are a first timer. Your muscles might be sore over the first few days. With time however, you will get use to the vigorous lifts. Incorporating them in your daily workout routine goes a long way in helping you attain an impressive upper body and lower body physique.

Builds Your Upper Body Mass And Strength


Owing to the fact that an overhead press involves all body muscles, trying it out will definitely be of great benefit to your entire body. The immediate benefits however, will most likely manifest themselves on the upper body. More often than less, you will notice that your upper body gradually grows bigger and stronger. This is what most of us seek whenever we start working out.

Overhead presses are simply the best exercises that you can use to push a huge amount of weight over your head. What’s more, you can do this by utilizing your upper body muscles only.

The Principle of Progressive Overload states that you can only build your muscle mass by exposing the muscles to progressing stress over time. The same applies to overhead presses. They only benefit you maximally if you start with smaller weights.

Increasing the size of the dumbbells with time places more strain on your muscles, making them stronger in the process. You should however avoid placing too much strain on the muscles because the tendons might get torn.

When working to increase your upper body strength and mass, you must similarly avoid overworking the muscles. The overhead press should however be your go-to routine in your quest to achieve that desired body mass and strength.

It Increases Your Lockout Strength


When working out, increasing the lockout strength is normally many individuals’ priority. Normally, you do this by lengthening your elbows each time you press on the weights.

This workout routine goes a long way in improving your powering ability, particularly when carrying out more strenuous exercises. It also gives you the ability to withstand heavy, intense and repetitive routines.

High lockout strength can only be achieved through overhead weight presses such as the standing barbell press. Strengthening the elbow gives you better flexibility and also improves your bone structure.

Most laymen have no idea that overhead presses increases an individual’s lockout strength. Most likely, this is the most underrated elbow exercise within the workout community.

Increases Your Bench Press


One of the most pertinent benefits of overhead pressing is that it gives you the ability to comfortably carry out bench presses. Overhead exercises supplements other muscle building exercises in as much as they take different approaches.

Overhead presses are particularly important as far as building your shoulder muscles and triceps is concerned. These muscles pay a significant role when carrying out bench presses.

An overhead press can also be a highly effective exercise in the event that you wish to increase your ability to carry out barbell bench presses. Adding the dumbbell overhead press in your workout plan for instance, builds your bench numbers whenever you carry out bench presses.

This is because the overhead presses stimulate your triceps’ strength and gives the muscles an explosive pressing strength. Muscles fibers are also likely to be stimulated. This is essential as far as strength production is concerned.

Safeguards The Shoulders


The shoulders are a very crucial component of your body. Overhead press exercises guarantee the safety and well-being of your shoulders. This is one of the benefits that they have over ordinary barbell bench presses.

The exercises are advantageous to nearly all body muscles because the weight is evenly distributed throughout the body without straining one part. When done correctly, you are therefore likely to protect your shoulders against injuries. Most importantly, it boosts the strength of the shoulder muscles.

The exercises also train other organs such as the anterior, lateral and posterior deltoids. This is done evenly and in the end, gives you a better muscular balance. For better protection of the shoulders, you are advised to incorporate other exercises such as rear delt raises and face pulls.

Weightlifters who only concentrate on bench exercises tend to experience shoulder disorders. This is because the exercises shorten the subscapular muscles by putting a lot of pressure on shoulder joints. This is detrimental to the long term health of your shoulders.

Conditions The Muscles


Overhead press exercises are beneficial as far as conditioning lower back muscles is concerned. Besides this, other core muscles are likely to benefit from the presses. Overhead pressing is similarly an important diagnostic tool for fitness coaches who wish to condition the muscles of those that they are training.

Weak lower back muscles can for instance be detected when carrying out an overhead press. This gives the coach an idea about what needs to be done to strengthen that particular region.

If you experience shoulder pain, the origin of your pain will be traced when carrying out an overhead press. Such observations can help specialists to condition your muscles and subsequently, treat any problems.

Increases Your Heart Rate


Everyone wishes to develop an effective blood circulatory system. Overhead pressing goes a long way in increasing your heart rate. This is imperative in helping you achieve an effective blood supply system. All exercises that increase your heart rate definitely improve your blood circulation.

The physical nature of overhead presses are particularly important to the blood supply system since they cause heart muscles to contract at a faster rate. This increases blood flow into your body muscles and other vital body organs. The exercises are also beneficial in the sense that they enlarge heart muscles, thus improving their pumping efficiency.

Overhead pressing is an example of resistance training. With consistent incorporation of the exercises in your workout routines, you are likely to increase your blood circulation. This gives you a healthier body and gives you a better ability to fight off diseases. The exercises also boost nutritional supply to other vital body organs.

Common Overhead Press Exercises


Dumbbell Overhead Press


The benefits of making use of dumbbells rather than barbells when carrying out overhead presses are widely documented. Most importantly, the versatility of dumbbells gives them an upper hand.

During overhead dumbbell pressing, it is possible to use pronated grips, which mimic the traditional hand position employed when carrying out a barbell press. You can also use a neutral grip, which reduces the chances of injuries to the shoulder joints and muscles.

Dumbbell overhead presses similarly involve more movement by the triceps. This makes it particularly beneficial to weightlifters who enjoy total body workouts. Dumbbell overhead pressing also gives you the chance to build your core muscles.

This is because it stabilizes muscles found in your shoulder girdles. It also has a relieving effect on your central nervous system. Weightlifters whose central nervous system is drained tend to suffer from more fatigues after the exercises. This is because they have a much longer recovery period in between exercises.


Push Press


These are another significant overhead press exercises. Weightlifters ought to learn about push pressing the moment they build an impressive overhead press using the equivalent of their body weight.

When carrying out a push press, you should first ensure that your body is positioned as it is the case during normal barbell shoulder presses. You are then required to dip the hips and knees before straightening them explosively while you thrust the bar over your head.

When thrusting, you should feel like you are jumping while throwing the weight over your head concurrently. During this time, make sure that your momentum lifts your feet from the floor as it is normally the case when working out using smaller weights.

Shoulder pressing is beneficial in the event that you want to improve on the shoulder press. This builds up your muscle bulk while giving you the power to push heavier weights over your head. This ultimately leads to increased strength and also a superior hypertrophy stimulus.


Bradford Press


This is a highly effective exercise because you can gradually increase the amount of weight lifted. Many individuals however get dissuaded by the difficult nature of the Bradford press, more so during the initial stages.

The “behind-the-neck” motions are particularly draining at first but with time, you are likely to get used to them. It also gives you a better ability to carry out exercises such as the standing barbell press and the revered military presses.

When taking part in these exercises, make sure that the barbell is tightly held just as it is the case with traditional shoulder pressing. The barbell should then be pressed hard enough over your head.

You are then required to rotate the barbell behind your head, before lowering it slowly towards your shoulders. You should then repeat the motion by returning the barbell to the front of your shoulders.


Power Clean Press


This is the ultimate shoulder muscle builder owing to the fact that it involves pulling the barbell bar from the floor all the way to the shoulders. This is an explosive motion, which powers your body muscles.

The exercises condition your body to properly utilize higher threshold motor units resourcefully. These motor units are basically the muscle fibers that trigger the overall growth of the muscles.

Power clean pressing mostly involves muscles found on your upper back. The exercises however have far-reaching benefits to other body muscles. Combining it with shoulder presses for instance goes a long way in giving you a higher muscle stimulation that most upper-body exercises.

At first, you are likely to experience fatigue, especially in your nervous system. Nevertheless, the body often gets used to the power press after a while. Power clean pressing similarly needs a longer recovery period than other overhead pressing exercises.

Despite this, it should be your go-to exercise more so if you want to achieve an impressive muscle to fat ratio within a short time.



Ever wondered why the overhead press is widely regarded as the forgotten muscle builder? Well, you now have all the answers. Ask me to name a better muscle exercise and I will be outright in my answer.

The upper body particularly tends to benefit from the overhead press more than any other part. The overhead press benefits are further highlighted by the fact that it gives you more flexibility, muscle strength and weight.

The overhead press was a favorite amongst pioneer weightlifters before it fizzled out. The exercises are however a cornerstone as far as the attainment of remarkable physiques is concerned. Overhead pressing is more than merely a muscle builder.

It is key to achieving a properly chiseled and manly muscle structure. In addition, it is a crucial strength building workout routine, which has been for years the epitome of athletic masculinity.

Luke Cafferty

Luke Cafferty is a fitness junkie, personal trainer and blogger. He's passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a strong and well rounded physique, while inspiring you to do the same.

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