Overhead press

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The press, overhead press or shoulder press is a weight training exercise, typically performed while standing, in which a weight is pressed straight upwards from the shoulders until the arms are locked out overhead.[1]

Movement[edit]

The press is set up by taking a barbell and putting it on the anterior deltoids. This can be done by taking the barbell from a rack or by cleaning the weight from the floor (clean and press). Alternatively the movement can be performed with dumbbells, though they do not rest neatly on the deltoids. They do not have easily accessible high racks so the trainee needs to clean them or have a spotter assist them in getting them into the starting position.

The press involves moving a barbell or dumbbells from the shoulder and pushing it up above the head until the elbows are fully locked out. As the bar clears the head, the lifter leans forward slightly in order to keep balance. As the bar is lowered back to the shoulders and clears the head again, the lifter leans slightly back.

The press is a highly effective compound upper-body exercise. Performing it standing recruits many more muscle groups in order to maintain balance and support the lift, rather than performing it seated. Like the squat and deadlift, it can be thought of as a whole-body exercise, to some extent.

Variations[edit]

Other variations of the overhead press are:

  • Arnold Press: beginning a press with forearms supinated, ending with forearms pronated. Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Behind-the-neck press: barbell on the trapezius vs. on the anterior deltoids
  • Bradford Press: as you press, once the bar clears a few inches overhead it is slowly lowered behind the head then explosively reversed to the front and slowly lowered to the starting position. The 2 phases are commonly considered one repetition. Named after Jim Bradford.
  • Dumbbell press: using dumbbells.
  • Military press: Heels together with strict form. It is called the "Military Press" because this movement used to be the general indicator or test of one's strength in the military.
  • Olympic press (clean and press): lift used in Olympic Weightlifting, consists of a clean, then pressing with no lower body movement, such as in the Push press. Discontinued after 1972 Olympics due to inconsistent judging criteria (such as should the lifter be allowed to bend backwards slightly when pressing, should a leg drive be allowed).
  • One-handed press: pressing with one arm at a time.
  • Push press: using leg drive to press the barbell up
  • Seated press : pressing while seated (commonly on a bench).

Strength standards[edit]

The tables show single maximal repetition loads for adults at different levels of training. [2]

Men[edit]

Body Weight Un-trained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite
52 kg (114 lb) 24 kg (53 lb) 33 kg (72 lb) 41 kg (90 lb) 49 kg (107 lb) 59 kg (129 lb)
56 kg (123 lb) 26 kg (57 lb) 35 kg (78 lb) 44 kg (98 lb) 53 kg (116 lb) 64 kg (141 lb)
60 kg (132 lb) 28 kg (61 lb) 38 kg (84 lb) 48 kg (105 lb) 57 kg (125 lb) 68 kg (151 lb)
67 kg (148 lb) 31 kg (69 lb) 43 kg (94 lb) 54 kg (119 lb) 64 kg (140 lb) 77 kg (169 lb)
75 kg (165 lb) 34 kg (75 lb) 46 kg (102 lb) 59 kg (129 lb) 69 kg (153 lb) 84 kg (186 lb)
82 kg (181 lb) 37 kg (81 lb) 50 kg (110 lb) 63 kg (138 lb) 74 kg (164 lb) 99 kg (218 lb)
90 kg (198 lb) 39 kg (85 lb) 53 kg (116 lb) 66 kg (146 lb) 78 kg (173 lb) 106 kg (234 lb)
100 kg (220 lb) 40 kg (89 lb) 55 kg (122 lb) 70 kg (155 lb) 83 kg (183 lb) 116 kg (255 lb)
110 kg (242 lb) 42 kg (93 lb) 58 kg (127 lb) 72 kg (159 lb) 86 kg (189 lb) 120 kg (264 lb)
125 kg (275 lb) 44 kg (96 lb) 59 kg (131 lb) 74 kg (164 lb) 88 kg (194 lb) 123 kg (272 lb)
145 kg (319 lb) 44 kg (98 lb) 60 kg (133 lb) 76 kg (167 lb) 90 kg (199 lb) 126 kg (278 lb)
145+ kg (320+ lb) 45 kg (100 lb) 62 kg (136 lb) 78 kg (171 lb) 92 kg (203 lb) 129 kg (284 lb)

Women[edit]

Body Weight Un-trained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite
44 kg (97 lb) 14 kg (31 lb) 19 kg (42 lb) 23 kg (50 lb) 30 kg (66 lb) 39 kg (85 lb)
48 kg (105 lb) 15 kg (33 lb) 21 kg (46 lb) 24 kg (53 lb) 32 kg (71 lb) 41 kg (91 lb)
52 kg (114 lb) 16 kg (36 lb) 22 kg (49 lb) 26 kg (58 lb) 34 kg (76 lb) 44 kg (97 lb)
56 kg (123 lb) 17 kg (38 lb) 24 kg (52 lb) 28 kg (61 lb) 37 kg (81 lb) 47 kg (104 lb)
60 kg (132 lb) 18 kg (40 lb) 25 kg (55 lb) 29 kg (65 lb) 39 kg (85 lb) 50 kg (110 lb)
67 kg (148 lb) 20 kg (44 lb) 27 kg (60 lb) 33 kg (72 lb) 43 kg (94 lb) 55 kg (121 lb)
75 kg (165 lb) 22 kg (48 lb) 29 kg (65 lb) 35 kg (77 lb) 46 kg (102 lb) 61 kg (134 lb)
82 kg (181 lb) 23 kg (51 lb) 32 kg (70 lb) 38 kg (83 lb) 50 kg (110 lb) 64 kg (140 lb)
90 kg (198 lb) 25 kg (55 lb) 34 kg (75 lb) 38 kg (83 lb) 53 kg (117 lb) 68 kg (151 lb)
90+ kg (199+ lb) 26 kg (58 lb) 36 kg (79 lb) 42 kg (93 lb) 56 kg (123 lb) 72 kg (159 lb)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "How to Perform Overhead Press - Proper Technique & Form". 15 April 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Press Standards". ExRx.net LLC. Retrieved 31 May 2016.