Tip: Fix Your Overhead Pressing Technique

Save your shoulders and get stronger. Here's how.

Some say you shouldn't press overhead because it's bad for your shoulders, but that's only true if you have a current injury.

If you notice that the front of your shoulder drops down and your elbow flares out, then your shoulder is about to go tits up and you're going to get some impingement. When you let your shoulder drop, your rotator cuff can become compressed under your acromion (which is a bony process of the shoulder blade).

When doing the standing press, keep the elbows up and tight to the body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to keep your shoulder in a neutral alignment.

Press Position

The next time you do a standing press, do a quick body positioning check.

The Setup

  1. Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift the chest and elbows.
  3. Keep your head neutral.

Overhead Press Finish Position

The Lift

  1. Engage the core as you slightly lean back to press the bar.
  2. Keep your elbows lifted as you begin your press.
  3. Pull the body through once the bar gets past the head.
  4. Shrug the shoulders up at the top of the press as you "stretch the bar."

Following these steps will increase your pressing ability and keep you from destroying your shoulders in the process.

Chad Coy has competed as a Pro Strongman since 1998. He served as the alternate to World's Strongest Man in 2001, and competed 10 times in the open America’s Strongest Man. After transferring to the Masters division, he has won 3 national titles, been runner up 3 times, and competed at the World Championships 5 times. He currently lives in Bloomington, IL, where he serves as the Director of Method Sports Performance. Follow Chad Coy on Facebook