The overhead press is one of the top CrossFit exercises an athlete can train on to build the upper body strength and power. Compared to a bench press, overhead press is a little more functional. It also gives you a lot of carry-over benefits between strength sports. Virtually anyone including strongman competitors, weightlifters, powerlifters, and functional fitness athletes can benefit from a well-executed overhead press. The following are the benefits of overhead press.
Epic Core Strength
Overhead pressing requires the participation of stabilizing muscles to give you a strong torso and posture. This is especially regarding the EMG activation of the external oblique, erectus spinae, and erectus abdominis. In a research done on bilateral and unilateral dumbbell shoulder presses, the EMG activation was found to be higher in the athletes who are standing and even more significant for those in unilateral pressing.
Iron Made Deltoids
The anterior or medial deltoids are the prime movers in the overhead press. These muscles are found on the front and center part of your shoulders. Additionally, overhead press strengthens posterior deltoids, which many upper body workouts do not manage to exercise. You can incorporate all the deltoid heads in different pressing movements, but not to the same degree.
In order to move the weight, the overhead press depends on social deltoids. The movement is initiated by the anterior deltoid and progressed by the medial before stabilized or finished by the posterior deltoid. It is almost impossible to have a strong overhead press if your deltoids are not built.
Stronger Bench Presses
If your overhead press strengthens, your bench press will also. This is because both of these CrossFit workouts use the same musculature even though in one, the body is in a horizontal position while in the other it is vertical. For success in the overhead press, you need more of your upper back musculature, and this helps in strengthening the eccentric movement of the bench press.
Increase Lockout Power
As your strength increases, your ability to create power also does. With a stronger muscle, you will have a much higher neural capacity and an enhanced muscle thickness. All of these help in influencing the much power you can create as an athlete during your explosive bout.
A stronger overhead press will improve strong lockouts irrespective of the form of overhead movement. An athlete will feel more comfortable when holding weight overhead with a heavier place. In addition to this, a stronger press will make your mechanics better even as you move maximal loads.
Enhanced Jumping Abilities
Whether you are doing a broad jump, a vertical jump, or a box jump, there are two things which are common. You need power and sufficient speed, along with a certain level of coordination and mechanics. Great jumps are nothing, but multiple joints working in unison.
Mastery of overhead press will impact on your ability to generate arm swing power. With a proper arm swing, the height you jump can easily go up by about 30% as well as your velocity.
Other benefits you may experience through overhead press include strengthening and building of your upper and mid trap as well as enjoying multi-sport carryover.