Overhead Press


  • Grip a bar slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Take a breath, lightly brace your core, and unrack the bar.
  • Let the bar rest against your front delts while you take a step back from the rack.
  • Press the bar up to straight arms, while exhaling.
  • Inhale at the top, or while lowering the bar with control back to your shoulders.
  • Repeat for reps.


The overhead press is a classic upper-body exercise, and previously a competitive event in olympic weightlifting. You can get into the pressing position by either cleaning the bar off the floor, or by lifting it out from a rack as described above.

In order to do a strict press you should not use your legs, but instead keep them still during the entire lift. When you use your legs to help push the bar up, it is usually called push press, and when you both use your legs on the way up and also dip your legs to catch the bar on straight arms, it is called a ”jerk”.

Muscles Worked


  • Front Deltoid


  • Triceps
  • Middle Deltoid

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Text and graphics from the StrengthLog app.