In this video, Leon shares 3 common overhead press mistakes. These mistakes can cause poor posture, cause low back pain, as well as NOT actually strengthen the muscles you’re trying to activate.
There are three common mistakes that you could be making in an overhead shoulder press with dumbbells. These mistakes could be causing several problems including:
- Making your already bad posture even worse (especially hunched over type posture)
- Contributing to, or causing, back pain
- Creating problems and pain in your neck
Overhead Press Mistake #1: Arching lower back
When you do an overhead press, nothing should be moving in your low back back region. However, what a lot of people do is arch their low back as they raise their arms over their head.
Arching this way puts extra stress on your low back muscles when you lift up the dumbbells. If you continue to lift this way, it will cause you to have low back pain, as well as contribute to Anterior pelvic tilt.
Overhead Press Mistake #2: Head pushed forward
Jutting your head forward past your shoulders is another way people tend to compensate during this exercise. This can lead to neck pain and forward head posture.
What happens when you push your head forward this way is that you end up straining your neck each time you raise your arms. Instead, try to keep your chin pulled in and relaxed. Work through your shoulders and brace your core so everything is nice and tight.
Overhead Press Mistake #3: Shrugging the shoulders
If you shrug your shoulders while doing an overhead press, it becomes more of an upper trapezius exercise. We usually don’t recommend Upper taps exercises because most people already have pain/tightness in that area. Instead, keep your shoulders down, locked, and then lift up mostly using your deltoids.
Of course, you’re going to get some upper trapezius muscle activation when you do this exercise, but it should not be driven predominantly from that muscle.
Proper Technique For Shoulder Press:
- Brace your core and Tuck in your chin
- Start with holding your dumbbells in your palms facing you at shoulder level
- Raise the dumbbells straight up, as you twist your palms to face away from you
- Bring them down to shoulder level and repeat the motion
- Aim for 10 reps, 2-3 sets
Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES), Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), Professional Dancer
As a long time back sufferer Leon found unique methods to alleviate his pain using natural methods including self massage, exercise/stretching and postural habits. He founded Backintelligence.com to empower others to fix their postures and ease their back pain from home.