Functional Training Institute

Overhead Press Progression

Our last video looked at how you can progress the Front Squat. This video follows the same formula and we now examine the overhead press. We showcase a logical overhead press continuum using Powerbags, Kettlebells and Barbells.

This Overhead Press Progression series is a great way to make sure you and your client are using proper technique. You need to work towards progressing the client so they ‘earn their right’ to utilise different equipment for the overhead presses. This ensures safety and efficiency.

We first start with the Powerbag press. We do this because of the following:

  • It is a symmetrical load
  • The soft construction which makes it easy and more comfortable
  • There are multiple handles that are suitable for all.

The key are to the following: Press above the head in a vertical line, have a full lock out, straight wrists and ensure the elbows point forward.

The next progression is the single kettlebell press.

This is the next progression because:

  • The asymmetrical load means you are using your core a lot more

The keys are the following: press directly above head, counter balance with opposite arm and bring it back into the rack position on every rep.

The next progression is the double kettlebell press. This is a progression as you have to manage the extra load. The key is controlling the downward phase and actively engaging your lats as you bring it into the rack position.

The final progression in our series is the barbell press. The angular momentum makes this more challenging than the previous exercises.

The keys are to press the bar off chest and lock it out at the top. You need press directly above the head and maintain a strong lockout

The key is understanding where your client is and programming the appropriate exercise. Client’s need to demonstrate great technique on the easier exercises before progressing. Your client needs to have ‘earned the right’. This will ensure their safety and efficiency is the number 1 priority.

We teach a number of pressing exercises in our Master Functional Program. We have continuums of regressions and progressions with all primary movement patterns. You can read more about the program HERE

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