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February 25, 2021

Best Overhead Press Cues for Beginner to Intermediate Lifters

overhead press cues from Annie Miller

What is your weakest lift and why is it overhead press?

But seriously…why though? I added 2.5 big ones (pounds) to my strict press the other day. So you can basically call me Arnold now.

In all seriousness, strict pressing is a thing for a lot of female lifters. They feel WUH-EAK.

WELL, news flash for my iron loving maven – of the main lifts: Squat, Deadlift, Bench press and Overhead press, overhead press will forever be the weakest. It’s literally science.

We’re stronger in horizontal pressing patterns than vertical pressing.

For females, your strict press should be 60-65% of your bench press, for reference.

So if you feel like a weak little baby child the next time you overhead press, this is why.

(None of these cues talk about top position. If everything else is set up right and you have full range of motion (ROM), you’ll likely finish in a decent position).

I also feel as though overhead press gets little attention when it comes to anatomical differences and advantages between humans. This was evident in the 2020 CrossFit games with handstand push-ups and the max strict press. If you don’t know what I am talking about, just look up the 2020 Crossfit games and watch the max lift event (squat, press, and deadlift).

Just as with deadlifts or squats and femur length in comparison to tibia length, and torso length, it’s evident that long arms will likely make overhead pressing more of a challenge. I would also be interested to see if the width of someone’s shoulders played into the ease of this lift as well.

I digress. you CAN get super duper strong with your strict press (relatively speaking). And it feels BOMB when you start seeing gains with this lift (especially for women, I findthis is after-all, who I work with).

(Swipe for OH pressing cues to think about next time you press overhead)

Do you struggle with OH press? Or LURV it? Oooooorrrr you love the struggle? If you’re looking to improve your overhead press then my program, The Big Lift Audit, may be right for you. Learn to correct your main lifts via video analysis on your own – check it out here.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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