Vertical Pressing Exercises & Progressions

The vertical press movement is a staple in my upper body routine.  There are so many great ways to perform vertical pressing and I have outlined some of my go to favourites and reasons why below:

Kettlebell overhead press (double or ipsilateral) – the KB is a great tool and allows you to press from a more neutral position.  Bilateral pressing overhead is very different to ipsilateral which requires you to stabilise the torso due to the asymmetrical load.  This is a go to for those with shoulder issues.  The KB is great for maximal pressing or for conditioning work.

Barbell overhead press – this is a go to for those wanting to load up and work on maximal lifting or conditioning.  You can perform a strict press or add in a push press to allow for greater contribution from the body and add heavier loads.

Upside down KB press – this requires a great deal of stability through the upper limb/shoulder girdle and torso.  You probably wont handle as heavy loads as you would on a conventional press, but you gain the stability challenge.

DB shoulder press & variations – select a lighter load and you can perform your own 3d shoulder press matrix as Gary Gray would describe it. Pushing the DB across all planes of movement (sagittal, frontal and transverse).  Add body movement to this and you can a great all over body contribution with pressing.

Handstand shoulder press – the opposite movement to all of those described above.  Instead of pushing the weight away from you, you are the weight and you are pushing yourself away from the floor.  Start with some mats under your head to reduce ROM and as you progress take these away.

Football bar shoulder press – allows many variations on the grip.  Great for those who have issues placing their shoulders in the typical military pressing position.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.  Heath has a particular interest in exercise rehabilitation and strength and conditioning.  He has completed ASCA Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Course, Powerlifting Association Level 1 Coaching Course, FMS and many more.  For all of your injury treatment and management needs, touch base with us at  Principle Four Osteopathy are one of Melbourne City CBD and Docklands leading osteopathy clinics.