August 21, 2021 9 min read
The overhead press is a staple upper body and shoulder exercise for building body mass. Not only is it perfect for building mass, but it also helps you build enviably broad shoulders and increase your muscular power.
However, like many exercises, the overhead press has a set of risks along with its benefits. If you want to eliminate those risks, or you just want to change up your existing shoulder workout, you can try one of the many overhead press alternatives!
There are many overhead press alternative exercises, but not all of them are created equal. To give you a hand, we are sharing the top seven best overhead press alternatives! These seven exercises give you all the same benefits as the overhead press while minimizing the risks.
Don’t waste any time! Get going with these seven overhead press alternatives to build your best shoulders ever.
The overhead barbell press is an excellent upper body exercise.
It targets several muscle groups, including the:
However, it primarily works the shoulder muscle group. On top of helping you build strong shoulder muscles, it has several other benefits, including:
While it works the entire shoulder muscle group and has many benefits, the exercise does come with potential risks.
Some of those risks include:
While these are onlypotential risks, it makes sense why someone might want to do an overhead press variation instead. With that said, there are a handful of different overhead press variations that you can do in place of the conventional version!
These variations pack in all the benefits of the exercise while diminishing the potential risks. Therefore, if you want to build excellent shoulder muscles without having to do the overhead press, give one of our top seven overhead press variations a try!
The seated dumbbell shoulder press is perhaps the most popular overhead press alternative. More than that, it is one of the most popular upper body strength training exercises.
What makes it such a popular shoulder exercise? It is one of only a handful of exercises that solely targets the shoulder muscles. Therefore, if you want to build as much shoulder mass as possible, we highly suggest the dumbbell shoulder press!
Here is how to do the seated dumbbell shoulder press with proper form:
The Arnold press is very similar to the dumbbell shoulder press with one slight difference. Instead of pressing your arms straight overhead with your palms facing forward, you press your arms overhead while rotating your palms.While it is a minute difference, it impacts your muscles differently than how the conventional dumbbell press does.
Some of those differences include:
Also, instead of using heavy weights as you would for the shoulder press, we suggest using lighter weights. Lighter weights allow you to focus on form and palm rotation.
Here is how to do the Arnold press with proper form:
Are you looking for an exercise that doubles as an overhead press alternative and targets your arms at the same time? If so, then the landmine press is perfect for you!
Compound exercises are those that work several muscle groups at once. The landmine press works both the shoulders and the arms. In the arms, they fire up the biceps, triceps, and forearms. Moreover, compound exercises are highly efficient because you get many muscles going with a single movement!
Here is how to do the landmine press with proper form:
Are you a home workout kind of person? Or the type of person looking to change up their workout routine with unconventional exercises? If you answered yes to either of the questions, then you need to try handstand push-ups!
Handstand push-ups are a unique bodyweight shoulder exercise that you can do anywhere there is a wall! Even better, they target more than just your shoulders.
In addition to the shoulders, they also work the:
In terms of your shoulder muscles, handstand push-ups work all three shoulder heads and the rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscle group is a group of upper arm muscles that stabilize the shoulders. They are delicate muscles that many lifters neglect and end up injuring. Therefore, they are critical to strengthen in order to prevent potentially debilitating injuries and improve shoulder stabilization.
Here is how to do handstand push-ups with proper form:
The z-press is a unique overhead pressing variation. It is unique because you do it in a seated position in order to channel the core stabilizer muscles for stability and power. Doing the exercise while sitting on the floor forces you to use your core strength to press the free weights overhead.
Therefore, if you want to strengthen both your upper body and core, the z-press is perfect for you!For this example, we are using dumbbells for the free weights. If you don't have dumbbells, you can also do the z-press with a barbell or kettlebells!
Here is how to do the z-press with proper form:
The single-arm push press is a classic bodybuilding and CrossFit exercise. Even if you are not a bodybuilder or extreme athlete, we highly suggest that all lifters try them because of their wide range of benefits, including:
If your goal is to build pure muscle mass, then having a lot of muscular power can be very beneficial. Muscular power refers to the amount of force that your muscles can generate. The more muscular force you can create, the more type 2 muscle fibers you have.
Type 2 fibers are the muscle fibers that help you build big and bulky mass. Moreover, if you are looking for an overhead press alternative exercise with a wide range of benefits, then this one is for you!
Here is how to do the single-arm push press with proper form:
You may be asking yourself why a bench press variation is on this list. Considering that bench press variations are well-known chest exercises, why would we have one here?
Not only does the incline bench press target the chest but also the lower shoulders. The lower shoulder muscle is the anterior deltoid, and it is a very challenging muscle to reach. Very few exercises are able to get at this tiny muscle. While it is small, it is an essential muscle for doing the overhead press.
Therefore, we added the incline bench press to this list to help you cross-train that tiny muscle. The stronger that the anterior deltoid gets, the better your overhead presses will get.
Here is how to do the include bench press with proper form:
If you want to make the incline bench press an even more challenging exercise, you can attach resistance bands to the barbell. The resistance bands will add more opposing force on your shoulder muscles near the lockout position. That extra force will make it all the more difficult for you to achieve the full range of motion!
Whether you are getting bored of the classic overhead press or simply want to change up your existing shoulder workout, give one of these overhead press alternatives a try! Each of these alternatives has almost all of the same benefits as the conventional overhead press plus a few extras.
Do not put off getting your dream shoulder muscles for another minute! Get going with these top seven overhead press alternatives now!
Bonus tip: Want to get even bigger shoulders? Don’t stop at overhead press alternatives! Check out our top lifts for building even better shoulder muscles!