How to do Overhead Press

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Difficulty: Easy

Impact Level: Low

Target Body Parts: triceps, shoulders


Standing upright with your feet at hip width, and legs straight, engage your glutes and brace your core whilst drawing your ribs in. Then make fists with your hands and take them up above your shoulders, with your elbows out to the sides and at shoulder height.

Keep your body braced whilst you press your hands up above your head until your arms are reaching straight above each shoulder. Then bend your elbows to bring your hands back to the start position and press back up to the top again, repeating for the duration of the exercise.

Common mistakes are leaning back during this exercise because your shoulders, pecs and lats maybe tight. This can put pressure in your lower back and should be avoided. Standing with your back against a wall is a way to force you to stay upright.

How to make Overhead Press easier

If you feel unstable during this exercise, try it sitting upright on a chair or bench without leaning back against a back support.

How to make Overhead Press more challenging

If you have two small objects that weigh the same amount (e.g. dumbbells or food tins), you can hold one in each hand for extra resistance.

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