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     Fitness Tips For For 6/1/2011
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The Standing Press: The Best Upper Body Exercise

You probably don't even use this exercise. I doubt that even 1% of
the gym populace uses this exercise. That's too bad because there 
aren't too many exercises that are more productive. I'd rate it as 
the third best exercise of all, only bettered by the deadlift and 
the squat.

One thing is for certain: no other exercise builds more functional 
upper body strength than this one. Up until the early seventies, the
overhead press was the measuring stick of upper body strength. The 
bench press was an assistance exercise to the standing press. Now 
the two exercises have switched levels of popularity. The bench press
is done EVERYWHERE. You will rarely find more than two regular 
members of any gym performing standing presses. It never ceases to 
amaze me when I see large men unable to use even the weight than I 
can use in the standing press. With consistent work their poundages
could surpass mine in this exercise, but this will not happen as they
spend an inordinate amount of time on the bench press while devoting 
virtually no time to the standing press.

The bench allows trainees to use more weight because of leverage. The
bench press also allows trainees to cheat more easily. But first and 
foremost, the bench press is much easier. Although appearing simple 
in execution, the overhead press is actually a movement that requires
considerable skill to perform correctly.

As I mentioned before, the overhead has more real-world function. When
you lift an object, it goes overhead. In athletic endeavors, such as a 
boxer throwing a punch or a lineman pushing forward, you generate force
when leaning forward. Although a slight backwards lean is understood 
when overhead pressing, do not allow the movement to degenerate into a 
standing bench press. This is why the press was dropped from the 
Olympics after 1972. Stand as straight as possible when doing this 
exercise. A generous lean results in greater chest activation. Chest 
activation is not what we want here. We want deltoid stimulation.

If you perform these seated - and you do not have a lower back problem 
to prevent you from doing these standing - you are a being lazy.

By using the overhead press, you prevent a potential strength imbalance
in the rotator cuff muscles that can be the result of training only 
bench presses.

Some of you are more worried about the appearance of your chest than 
your deltoids, so I would suggest that you continue to concentrate on 
chest exercises while using the press at least as an accessory to the 
chest work.

As far as I'm concerned, and I'm sure that I will receive your wrath,
the bench press is at best an accessory to the standing press. I will 
go so far as to say that it is the lazy man's press. Many people love 
the bench press and take offense to my feelings about the supine press. 
Other people will also take offense. Try the overhead press for 
yourself and see which you prefer.

Comments

I am respondingabout the standing military.  I can not agree with you 
more, the standing military is far and above the best upper body and 
even lower if you do it from the floor.  If you add the dip for the 
chest with the legs forward and using a v shaped dip bar, your upper 
body is covered. Or at least the chest and shoulders.  A broad chest 
due to the shoulders looks fantastic.

Louis 

Yeah been doing the standing press for last 3 weeks or so & yes is 
a beast. I've been pressing this from the front but was watching 
Mariusz Pudzianowski  on Youtube do it from the rear, with 450lbs I 
might add, which is the better postion?

Cheers
Mike

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The Standing Press: The Best Upper Body Exercise

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