August 21, 2021 9 min read
What if there was an exercise that was perfect for strengthening both the shoulder and core muscles? The kind of exercise that would help you combine your shoulder and core day workouts into one? It turns out that the z-press does just that!
The z-press is an advanced overhead press variation. Like the conventional overhead press, it helps you build muscle mass in your shoulders. Unlike it, it is done in a seated position and targets both the shoulders and core! Because you do it sitting down, it takes the work off of your lower body to power the lift overhead.
If your overhead pressing is just not doing it for you now, then we highly suggest trying the variation!
To help you get started, we are sharing everything you need to know about the z-press, including:
If you want broad shoulders and a sculpted core, look no further than the z-press!
The z-press is a compound exercise that targets your upper body and core at the same time.
Here are the primary muscles that it targets:
Since you've made it this far, you already know that we love the z-press for lifters like you. The reason we love it so much is because of its unique and diverse benefits. Here are some of those top benefits:
Is the z-press a risky exercise? While it does have excellent benefits, it does come with its own set of risks. Before getting started, be sure to consider these z-press downsides. That way, you can diminish the potential downsides of the exercise while maximizing the benefits. Here are the top z-press risks to keep in mind:
- Wearing a waist belt
- Having a personal trainer spot you
- Doing a complete core and shoulder warm-up with light weights
Given all the benefits of the z-press, it only makes sense that you would want to do it! However, given its risks, it also only makes sense that we share a step-by-step guide on how to do them!
There are a couple of ways you can do a z-press, including the:
We're sharing how to do the z-press with dumbbells because it is the most popular and safe version. Here is how to do the dumbbell z-press with proper form:
If you are a regular here on the Steel Library, you already know how we feel about form. Without proper form, you not only increase your odds of getting injured, but you also reduce the benefits of an exercise.
Therefore, keep these extra form tips in mind when doing the z-press:
If the z-press isn't working for you or you want to try additional types of overhead presses, then give one of these variations a try:
Additionally, if you want to improve your z-press, you can try cross-training exercises. Cross-training targets the same muscles that the z-press uses. The stronger those muscles get, the easier z-presses will become. Here are the top resistance training and weightlifting exercises that help you cross-train for the z-press:
Increasing your hip flexibility might not be the first thing you think of when improving your z-press. However, we highly suggest doing these stretches to not only improve your z-press, but also improve your overall health!
- Pigeon pose
- Cow face
- Shoulder bridge
- Figure four
Whether you are into bodybuilding, CrossFit, or are just trying to reach your fitness goals, we highly suggest adding the z-press to your workout routine! This advanced lift challenges your upper body and core in ways that almost no other exercise does.
Do not hesitate! Follow our complete guide to get started with the z-press today!
Bonus tip: Want even more z-press cross-training exercises? If so, then check out our five favorite lifts for building better shoulders!