front raise vs overhead press

Jullie Chung writes regularly for various websites.

There are literally too many positive aspects of the partial press to define in this space, but let us note just a few.

The key is learning to incorporate both versions into your routine rather than sticking to just one. © 2019

Probably one of the most underused versions of the overhead press is the partial press. In fact, that added confidence factor actually brings us to the next main point, which is simply the amount of stress or weight you can place upon your shoulders in a partial environment. More weight + increased fiber damage = greater gains.

With dumbbells in hand, simply begin with your palms facing your shoulders and your elbows down in front of you. And while we understand your skepticism, we also know that there are variations of the great one that can make your gains in delt width and overall mass so much better. Dumbbells require the most coordination but also allow the most freedom, such that you can do them with even your hands facing forward or neutral (palms in). Your functional-minded personal trainer may want to cover his delicate ears or perhaps skip this section because we’ll be discussing the behind-the-neck press.

For all the benefits the traditional overhead barbell press affords, the dumbbell version (with palms facing forward) keeps pace stride for stride. Here are four unique variations that make an outstanding biceps move an even greater one for adding size.

If time is an issue overhead presses may be a useful option for effectively hitting more muscles in a shorter amount of time. And if you’ve been married to the bar for weeks, months or even years, it’s probably time to head to the dumbbell rack.

She is a nationally certified fitness trainer and performance enhancement specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and trains regularly in yoga, flatwater kayaking, boxing and mixed martial arts. One of the biggest benefits of dumbbells is that they allow a greater or freer range of motion than the barbell counterpart. At first, you may be forced to use a lighter weight than you’d use for seated overhead presses, but once your lower back strengthens through adaptation, you’ll be able to lift as much — and likely much more — weight standing as you do when you’re seated. In other words, if your shoulder routine is always one big dose of old-fashioned barbell presses, this article is about to shake up and overhaul the way you train delts. While this may not seem plausible, just ask a dozen Olympic lifters if they’re strong… Control the dumbbells in the reverse motion all the way back down to the start position. First of all, the most powerful portion of your body — your legs — are nonexistent during the seated version, despite the fact that many seated overhead press stations have foot plates/bars to press against. Performed correctly the dumbbell overhead press develops and strengthens the shoulder muscles. You may be working within a shorter range of motion, but your delts have the capacity to lift more weight partially than they can through a full ROM, and it’s time you put that truth to good use. In other words, more total muscle fibers are hard at work when doing the overhead dumbbell press. When you perform front raises, in which your elbows move in front of your body, you involve more of your front delts than your middle delts. Think traditional seated overhead barbell presses are your golden ticket to shoulder mass?

At first, you may be forced to use a lighter weight than you’d use for seated overhead presses, but once your lower back strengthens through adaptation, you’ll be able to lift as much — and likely much more — weight standing as you do when you’re seated. Now, if you have pre-existing shoulder or cervical spine issues, you’ll obviously need to avoid this version, but for the healthy individual, the behind-the-neck overhead press is absolutely safe.

Both moves work the shoulders, but which one is best at targeting the front delts? Related:5 Bulletproof Moves for Wider Shoulders. But the emphasis each muscle gets can be altered dramatically depending on the version of the overhead press or techniques employed.

Finally, is the idea of progression. Does a Military Barbell Press Work the Chest? However, side lateral raises are invaluable for deeply sculpting the shape, density and strength of the side shoulder muscle as well as strengthening connective tissue at the shoulder joint. When the set is over (failure), you simply rest the bar atop the safeties. Shoulders can be sculpted and accentuated through exercise. That’s our first request as we dive into these variations of a classic. I used to do DB OHP but I stopped after realizing I could comfortably lat raise every day. Military presses are a type of overhead press performed with a barbell or Smith machine. So, more total muscle fibers are hard at work to perform the overhead press when using dumbbells than when using the bar. I prefer lat raises ATM. First and most obvious, the bar isn’t going to crash down upon your head nor will you have to struggle to rack the weight after failure (and we’ve all been there). With all that your shoulders are capable of and with the various tools at your disposal, it’s fair to say that after you try the moves, your delts will grow like never before.

An effective overhead press substitute needs to target similar muscle groups to the overhead press. Both overhead presses and side lateral raises develop the shoulders. Thus, when doing presses behind the neck, your elbows move out to your sides to a greater degree than with presses to the front, and because of this, the middle delts are involved to a much greater degree than they are with front barbell presses.

Because you keep your elbows out to your sides during standard overhead dumbbell presses, the emphasis remains primarily focused on the middle delts. All you have to do is give them a try in order to expose the muscle fibers of your shoulders to different stresses and stimuli from one week to the next.

The compound movement covers a large range of muscles with one exercise. All rights reserved. The overhead press is a compound movement that works multiple muscles with one motion. Those attributes allow the partial press to be instrumental in helping you achieve your objective of getting boulder, sleeve-busting shoulders. Both moves work the back but which is better at targeting the lower lats?

The more traditional press with the knuckles back focuses work on the front and side shoulders muscles, while turning the knuckles inwards places greater emphasis on the side shoulders muscles alone. But could your choice of equipment be hindering your gains?

While this may not seem plausible, just ask a dozen Olympic lifters if they’re stronger from a standing or seated position and you’ll get the same answer from each one.

Significantly easier setup (1 DB), you need very little weight, and you can modify the lift significantly (front raise, 45 raise, side raise, bent rear raise, etc.) Performing the overhead press with dumbbells allows for a greater range of motion than using a barbell. Consider the front raise and lateral raise for a second. Properly perform the bent-over dumbbell lateral raise for cannonball-sized delts. As you press the dumbbells upward, the middle and rear delts become increasingly engaged but not until the front delts initiate most of the move.

Power Pointer: Because your arms are further out to your sides, more stress is placed on the middle delt.

Because you’re seated, your lower back and legs are, for lack of a better term, at rest.

Power Pointer: The dumbbell version is more difficult than using the barbell, so it recruits more muscle fibers for a longer range of motion. It’s important to adequately warm up your shoulders as well as the rotator-cuff muscles prior to your heavier sets. Are Shoulder Presses and Curls at the Same Time a Bad Idea? The same goes for the standard and behind-the-neck versions of the press, both having everything to do with the position of your elbows relative to your body. When you do lateral raises, in which your elbows move out to your sides, you involve more of your middle delts. Both moves work the shoulders, but which one is best at targeting the front delts. Overhead presses work the front and side shoulder muscles and also engage the trapezius muscles---shoulder muscles at the base of the neck--- and the triceps. One of these photos shows a critical but common mistake at the top of the flat-bench dumbbell bench press. It may be the single biggest exercise missing from your training. If you happen to be completely new to this exercise, start out light because you’ll quickly see it doesn’t take a lot of weight to feel it taxing your shoulders beyond belief. Press the weights straight up, pronating your hands (turn your wrists out once the dumbbells reach eye level) so that your palms face forward as you reach full-arm extension. Which version is best for the lateral head? What Part of the Deltoid Does the Arnold Press Work On? Overhead presses are compound moves (meaning more than two sets of joints are working together, in this case the muscles that attach to the elbow and shoulder joints, so the triceps are also assisting) that are typically done first in your shoulder routine. Ready?

From a standing position, your legs and knees absorb the downward shock of the movement, and you can use your legs to help propel the bar back overhead on each rep. Again, once your lower back (not to mention your abs and transverse abdominis (think core) strengthen and combine with the contribution of the legs, you’re immediately able to press more weight overhead. This action also requires more stabilizer muscles to perform the move. What that means is that your delts are recruited for a longer period of time and through a greater range motion with dumbbells than during an overhead barbell press. Our expert takes a look. Because they are an isolation movement, work is focused solely on the side shoulder muscle. Because of the rotation of your wrist, elbow and shoulder joints, you want everything full of fluid and blood before loading up the weight. Both moves work the quads, but which one is better at isolating the teardrop (inner thigh)? The overhead press is also called the ‘shoulder press’ or ‘military press’.

And with that increased ROM comes greater time under tension and the recruitment of the traps, which act to raise the shoulder blades. As a way of quick review, the shoulder is composed of three heads: the front, middle and rear delts. An avid outdoor fan, she regularly hikes, climbs and trail runs. What Is the Correct Way to Do Triceps Curls? Pushing heavy weight overhead is generally a good thing to do.

Most of the time this is done seated, but you can also perform this standing, which allows you to go slightly heavier by using your lower body and core to a greater extent.

Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, Strength Training Anatomy; Frédéric Delavier, The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding; Arnold Schwarzenegger.

One of these photos shows a critical but common mistake on the bench press in terms of grip width on the bar. One of several styles of overhead press, this exercise also incorporates muscles of the upper chest as well as working the front and side shoulders muscles along with the triceps. In fact, dare we say that after you’ve adapted to the standing version, you may never want to perform the seated version again. Think traditional barbell deadlifts are tops for adding strength and muscle? Performing lateral raises with the arms straight places greater challenge on the muscle as the entire arm creates a greater torque on the muscle during the movement. Dumbbells can be positioned with the knuckles back and the palms facing forward, or presses can be performed with the knuckles turned outward and the palms facing the ears. For one, the biggest benefit of the dumbbells is they allow a greater (or freer) range of motion than the barbell counterpart.


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