Sorting Last Post on Top Message:
BREWMASTERBILL SparkPoints: (31,088)
Fitness Minutes: (12,713)
Posts: 4,114
1/22/13 9:23 A

Seems sound to me. I agree with your assessment on cleans. I think they require a lot of practice. Form is very important when you're slinging barbells for speed. One thing that has helped me get more comfortable with them is the hang clean. I'm pretty poor on flexibility so the hang clean has helped me develop some flexibility to rack the barbell. Also, it gets you more comfortable with what some refer to as the "jump" portion of the lift.

COXBETH SparkPoints: (8,276)
Fitness Minutes: (3,770)
Posts: 471
1/22/13 8:55 A

Thanks for all the thoughts! I can't seem to find anyone who gives me a good reason NOT to do the OHP, as long as I'm careful about form and I don't progress too fast. The few people who originally posted (on another forum) with lines like "no one should ever do the overhead press" or "it's one of the top five most dangerous exercises" haven't been able to provide any references for those statements, so I'm not worrying about it.

Cleans still freak me out and are still on the back burner while I build up strength. Power is important to me in the long run (sports!), but I want a stable strength base before I start getting into moves like that. My plan is to go with hubs to the powerlifter gym up north and get advice from some of the competitive ladies up there when I get started. While competitive bodybuilders might not rely on compound movements, I know the powerlifter set DOES.

And yeah, I think what I learned from physical therapy for the shoulder last year was to be pickier about my physical therapist (PT). The most important thing I got from her was to slow down - she stopped me from going out surfing or sweep rowing too early, which would have set me back quite a bit. I didn't get much advice on how to move FORWARD though, which is what I really wanted. I quit going after the rates went up and she couldn't give me a plan for how we were going to get me back to 100%, so I ended up doing my own rehab after 2 months. Single sculling (rowing) slowly and with low power and lots of attention to form was an awesomely effective way to rehab my way back into lifting. It's been 8 months now and I just started sweep rowing again with no pain! Still not rock climbing yet... :)

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (201,980)
Fitness Minutes: (197,636)
Posts: 15,873
1/22/13 5:37 A

"That author's claim that it's "not the right movement" applies for bodybuilders, since their goal is maximize individual muscles by working them individually. But most people should be focused on integrating multiple muscles and muscle groups, not isolating them."


1/22/13 2:54 A

The overhead press movement is a natural human movement that's commonly encountered outside the gym, and for that reason alone, it's a valid exercise. Obviously those with shoulder issues should use caution, but the exercise rarely causes problems for those without pre-existing shoulder problems.. assuming they lift properly. That author's claim that it's "not the right movement" applies for bodybuilders, since their goal is maximize individual muscles by working them individually. But most people should be focused on integrating multiple muscles and muscle groups, not isolating them.

By the way, i recommend using caution with the clean, since it's an advanced, highly technical move. The speed element means that one's form needs to be impeccable to avoid injury.. and even then, someone with joint issues might encounter problems. The exercise really has no business being in a beginner's strength book. It's not even a strength exercise, it's a power exercise (speed x strength).

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
1/21/13 6:21 P

I do overhead presses 3 times a week at Group Power weight lifting class. It is all about good form. Make sure you do that. I would check out for the video on how to do this.

1/21/13 5:53 P

We do presses all the time in Crossfit. You really want to make sure you have good flexibility and that your form is good before you press too much weight. If you're not an experienced weight lifter, I really recommend working with a coach (or even a knowledgeable friend) to make sure you're doing the movement correctly.

BREWMASTERBILL SparkPoints: (31,088)
Fitness Minutes: (12,713)
Posts: 4,114
1/21/13 11:31 A

I think many can argue the risk/reward ratio of any loaded exercise. There is always the opportunity to injure yourself if not done correctly or if you go too heavy. Assuming you're a healthy, injury free individual, the benefits of the OHP are similar to those of the squat, deadlift and bench press, namely that it is a compound lift. The muscles primarily focused are delts, traps, triceps, and serratus, but assuming you're standing (and you should be), huge stabilization has to occur which means abs, lower back, glutes and quads get in on the action. Of the 4 main lifts (squat, deadlift, bench, OHP), I consider the OHP the one with least amount of possibility for injury, but also it works the least amount of major muscles. From a risk/reward perspective, I think behind the neck presses are terrible, but the OHP is favorable. Just my opinion.

If you're not getting specific advice that is helpful to your situation, keep shopping until you do. A good trainer should be able to make suggestions that allow you to derive maximum benefit without aggravating existing problems.

I'm not sure how your workaround of a split stance would be helpful here. Again, I think consulting an expert (i.e. not the internet) is going to be the best path.

COXBETH SparkPoints: (8,276)
Fitness Minutes: (3,770)
Posts: 471
1/21/13 10:54 A

Thanks! After my 3 months of PT last spring (ugh), they never said anything about NOT doing OH Presses, but did say not to "push" myself in lifting. Not the most helpful advice since it wasn't specific, but since I haven't reinjured myself, it seems like it might have been just what I needed to hear. :)

I've seen a few articles like these that question the use of the OH press...but I don't know how reputable the authors are...

But then others argue that it's a good lift, it's just people with too-tight shoulders that are the maybe I should only start pressing after I clean the bar up or use a split stance? I'm still gathering info, so any other sources would be great...

And I actually have LOW bp (I know, it's weird). I have a touch of orthostatic hypotension, but it goes away if I make sure not to eat a low sodium diet. At the doc's suggestion, I salt load with a sports drink (I use Nuun tablets) if I know it's a hard workout and will be more than 20-30 minutes and that prevents me from getting symptomatic.

Oh, and someone else posted a link to that article recently - I love it! I don't do any of those exercises, but it's awesome to have that quick reference when trying to convince ladies not to do the inner/outer thigh machine. :)

Edited by: COXBETH at: 1/21/2013 (10:56)
SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
1/21/13 10:40 A


I am not familiar with the overhead press being an exericse one should not do. However, if you have a history of shoulder injuries, you should have a thorough fitness assessment from a pysical therapist or certified personal trainer as welll as receiving medical clearance from your doc as to what exercsies you can and can't do.

That being said, for anyone with a history of high blood pressure they should not do any overhead weight exercises, including the overhead press, as this can dangerously raise one's blood pressure.

Below is a link to SparkPeople's list of exercises that don't offer much benefit.

Coach Nancy

COXBETH SparkPoints: (8,276)
Fitness Minutes: (3,770)
Posts: 471
1/21/13 10:23 A

I know there's some ladies (and probably some gents) out here with good advice and a lot of knowledge about lifting. I've heard a few people lately saying (or putting out on the forums) that the overhead press is a terrible movement - it doesn't work the right muscles efficiently, it creates a risk of rotator cuff injury through excessive external/internal rotation depending on how you do it, etc. However, it's part of the basic "big 5" (squat, dead, bench, clean, and OH press) from Rippetoe's Starting Strength and is used as one of the big 4 (squat, dead, bench, OH press) in Wendler's 5-3-1.

Does anyone have any (nonsparkpeople) references that they find reputable that talk about why to do/why not to do the over head press?

I have a history of shoulder injuries so I've been super duper conservative on the progression of my shoulder press and I don't do cleans yet (though I keep meaning to start). I haven't hurt myself with lifting yet but if this is a "bad" or "not preferred" lift, I'm thinking about moving away from it all together.

Page: 1 of (1)  

Other Fitness and Exercise Topics:

Last Post:
9/28/2016 11:59:21 PM
3/9/2017 10:19:38 PM
1/13/2017 2:23:59 PM
6/7/2016 11:15:30 AM