This week for our Exercise of the Week we are going to look at the overhead press and a few variations of it. An overhead press involves pushing the resistance away from you in a vertical motion, hence the name overhead. Any of the variations we talk about can be done from a seated position (which is more of an isolation movement for the deltoids and triceps) or while standing (which adds core into the equation along with the prime movers the deltoids and triceps).  Another benefit of working the overhead press is going to be improved scapular stability and a stronger rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis) which will help with every day overhead activities.

Before attempting to press overhead, you have to make sure you have the overhead range of motion to complete the lift safely and correctly. Through soft tissue work and mobility work you should be able to get your hands straight up over the middle of your head while maintaining a neutral spine. Here is a quick and simple test you can do by yourself to examine your overhead mobility

Lets cover some variations of the overhead press starting with the simplest and moving to the most complex.

Single-Arm Overhead Press

Starting position

Front View KB SA OH Press Start Side View KB SA OH Press Start

Ending Position

Front View KB SA OH Press Finish Side View KB SA OH Press Finish


DB Overhead Press

Starting Position –> Ending Position

DB OH Press- Start DB OH Press Finish


Military Press (Barbell Overhead Press)

Starting position –> Ending position

Barbell OH Press- Start Barbell OH Press- Finish


Landmine Overhead Press

This variation is perfect for anyone  that struggled to get full shoulder flexion overhead when doing the back to the wall test in the video above.

Staring position –> Ending position

Landmine Verticle Press- Start Landmine Verticle Press- Finish



Matt Lane