EXERCISE BREAKDOWN: KNEELING OVERHEAD PRESS
HOW TO DO IT
GET SOMETHING SOFT BUT STABLE AND KNEEL – get your weights ready by your sides first or you’ll have to get up again.
PICK THE WEIGHTS UP, REST THEM ON YOUR SHOULDERS – Your palms should be facing each other throughout this move – this is known as a Neutral grip. The end of the dumb-bell should be resting on the muscly bit of your shoulder. If you don’t have a muscly bit – train harder! Your elbows should be pointing straight ahead, not splayed out to the side.
FEEL THE DISH – That’s right… the dish gets everywhere! – as with anything… we want to control our spine. ‘Core’ training baby. All the time.
EXHALE AND PRESS FORCEFULLY OVERHEAD – this is why we call it an ‘Overhead Press’.
LOCK YOUR ARMS OUT AND SHRUG AT THE TOP – There are a couple of ways of locking out overhead. I like to shrug the shoulders for stability as there is more movement involved and it has better carry over to gymnastics type moves – which there are many in the HabFit system.
REPEAT! – bring them down, tap your shoulders at the bottom to make sure you used full range, then do it again.
HOW IT TENDS TO GO WRONG AND HOW TO MAKE IT GO RIGHT
A few errors are possible, but it really comes down to these two:
YOU LEAN BACK! – If the weight is too heavy, if you don’t have enough range of motion at the shoulders or if you just haven’t grooved the move properly, you may well lean back as you press. Naughty! The fix is to hold your Dish, lock in your ‘Iron Spine’ and make sure you have enough range of motion available at the shoulders. Then drop down in weight and re-grove the move and make sure its smooth. Build back up when you know what’s up.
WILD ELBOWS – There are many ways to press a weight. In this variety we want the elbows to stay straight. If you struggle – they may splay. We don’t want this. Its usually just because you’re not used to it. Practice, practice, practice and you’ll get stronger here very quickly.
PUSH YOURSELF THROUGH THE FLOOR – As often in training, if you think about the open part of the chain, you tend to let your stable posture ‘brake’. We don’t like a broken body. Focus on holding you posture and pushing yourself through the floor and your form will tend to stay together much better. Try it. Please.
STAY STILL FOR GOD SAKE! – If I say it like this to clients they tend to listen, especially when I sound really desperate. Try it. It might help you focus on your shoulders doing the work instead of some random body move you manage to come up with.
CATCH THEM WITH A BIG CHEST AND A FULL BREATH – This move can tend to beat you down and you can lose your posture and breathing rhythm. If you remember to catch with a big chest and full lungs full of air, you will hold your strength well.
WHY DO IT
BIG SHOULDERS – First and foremost you’ll build your vertical pushing muscles. Primarily then, this is a compound move for Shoulders and Triceps.
SCAPULA UPWARD ROTATION – With this style, we also feel the Shoulder Blades elevate and upwardly rotate. We don’t do this so much in day to day life so its really good for balance at the shoulder joint.
KNEELING IS A GREAT WAY TO LEARN – Seated can feel too much like bodybuilding (nothing wrong with that but we want a system of progressive exercises). Standing can be too hard to control for many people. You’ll see people leaning back and risking injury all the time on standing press. Kneeling is a happy medium, where it’s easy to control the spine but we area forced to work to control it. Then when we progress to standing we should fare better.
WRISTS TOO TIRED FOR FROGS AND HANDSTANDS – If you want Frogs and Handstands but find your wrists are struggling to adapt – like many do, these can be a great stand in that build strength but are easier on the shoulders.