Overhead Press Common Mistakes

Fix Your Overhead Press Technique

In this video, we explain how to correct overhead press common mistakes such as incorrect grip width and elbow flare.

One of the most common errors we see in the overhead press is too wide of a grip – the grip should facilitate vertical forearms at the starting position. Also, many new lifters allow their wrists to bend back, when we want minimal wrist bend.

Before un-racking the bar, take a grip that sits deep in the heel of the palm, not up in the fingers. Get your wrists straight and elbows pushed up in front of the bar. Then, squat the bar out of the rack keeping your upper body position. This sets the tone for a successful set!

Elbow Flare, Grip Width and More

Keep your elbows up, slightly in front of the bar during the entire set. Don’t let them flare out to the sides mid-rep. Don’t let your elbows fall during the Press 2.0 “hip pop” (you can learn how to do that here). Keep your eyes fixed straight ahead – don’t follow the bar.

Don’t pull your hips back or wind the hips up before the hip pop. The hips only move forward, with perfectly straight knees, allowing the bar to dip down. Don’t force the bounce – the bounce of the bar is a result of the hips moving forward.

If your knees unlock, you didn’t set them tight enough before the start of the rep or you allowed them to unlock. Actively push your knees back as you push your hips forward.

Bar Path Issues and Lockout Struggles

The bar should travel in a straight vertical line directly over your midfoot. Don’t press the bar forward or away from your face – press it back to the lockout. Keep your heels glued to the ground, because this also affects midfoot balance. Don’t let your hips stay forward on the hip bounce – the hips rebound. Lastly, don’t press the bar too far back at the lockout – keep it over your midfoot.

Shrug up at the lockout in addition to fully extending your arms. Get your shoulders close to your ears!

To get more tips on the press, watch the full video above!



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