Overhead Press
Credit: Photograph by Terrence Darvin

We rarely press overhead while sitting down in real life. Shooting a basketball, putting something up onto a high shelf – it all happens while we're standing up, so standing presses are the way to go, creating a linked muscular chain from your hands down through your body core into your feet. Use kettlebells or dumbbells instead of barbells because they let the shoulder joint find its own way through a safe range of motion.


  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, spine held neutral (no arching the back), shoulders stabilized as described before.
  • Raise one weight at a time, allowing the hand and wrist to rotate as you push upward.

Advanced Move 

  • Push press: Simply add a slight squat and then a leg thrust as you push up, since we typically also use our legs when pressing overhead. This makes it a total-body movement and permits higher loads.