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Thoughts and discussion on kettlebell training, strength and conditioning, Olympic lifting, fat loss, getting healthy and fit, NMT, core training, Pilates, mobility and anything else that goes with the above.

How to improve your overhead press

Published on 14th Jun 2012 at 09:22 by Admin

Are you looking for a way to improve your overhead press? Well if you want to get stronger and work your deltoids (shoulders),triceps (bingo wings), abs and legs, here is a method that worked for me, so hopefully it will work for you.

I used a kettlebell so if you are using one, ensure you know how to press properly. Consult a qualified FFI s&c kettlebell trainer ideally. Also check our technique videos on this web site. But the same can be said if you are using a barbell or dumbbell. Technique and safety are priority, also you must have full shoulder mobility.

So aim to do 2 pressing sessions per week eg: Monday and Thursday, just give at least 2 days rest in between heavy pressing days for optimal recovery. After a good warm up, mobility and some light presses you are ready to go. Your light presses should be at least 50-60% of what you will be pressing in the first training set.

So we use ladders at FFI/KBI to improve strength. This means that you press or push press 1 rep on your weak arm, then 1 rep on your strong arm. I would recommend that you use the push press method on your first ladder, pause a little in lockout, then try to lower the weight slowly with control. Next 2 weak, 2 strong, 3 weak, 3 strong, etc.. take as much rest as you need between sides. Just make sure that you are not out of breath when attempting the next rung on your ladder.

Over the weeks gradually increase your volume. That means try to go to 5,5 on your ladders, no higher and increase your ladders to 5. After 3 weeks of building volume have a back off week on the 4th week. This will help you recover and lower the risk of an overuse injury. This back off week should be about half the volume of week 3. In week 5 start again with the same volume as week 2 and build from there.

Also over the weeks try to military press your first rep everytime. The weight may not move much, it will be like a static press. Be patient and over time this weight will move for you. So after your first military press, continue with your push presses, but keep the effort of the push press minimal, so that your arms have to do most of the work every rep.

When you can do 5 ladders of 1-5 don't go any higher, but work on military pressing all of the reps. Make sure every 4th week you have a back off week, remember back off is high intensity, but low volume.

On the other days eg: Tuesday and Friday you can add some pulls or ballistics like deadlifts, snatches or pull ups to balance out the pushing and pulling muscle groups.

Remember high intensity training will help you burn lots of calories helping you to get your full body into great shape. Hope this helps you achieve your goals.

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