Instead, switch to a feet-elevated pushup.Place your feet on a bench or short box and do your pushups. For people with wrist pain, they need an alternative to strengthen their chest and shoulders while reducing pressure on their wrists.Switch to the kettlebell bench press. You may find that you need to switch the load for each exercise. Takeaway: A good substitute for the overhead press will target the anterior and medial delt, in addition to the triceps. Hold the barbell in the crook of your elbows and squat—the barbell will work as a counterbalance and increase core activation. 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Back in the day a bodyweight military press was the norm and now there’s few in a gym that can press correctly, let alone anything close to their bodyweight. Hold the kettlebell handle deep in your palm, not by the base of your fingers. Jump squats are a great explosive lower-body exercise to hammer your quads and hips, but bad for people with knee pain. It can also improve balance, coordination, and core strength. Use the military press if you want to build your strength by lifting more overall weight. Whatever the reason, this dumbbell raise combo is an excellent way to target your front and side deltoid muscles. As great as the back squat is in building huge quads and strong legs, it can also aggravate existing lower back problems because of the forward lean at the bottom. You can change the angle of your body, which will put your torso more or less perpendicular to the floor. And although these lifts are fantastic ways to skyrocket your power and size, they’re difficult for people with poor mobility, muscular imbalances and nagging pains. Many of the overhead press alternatives discussed in this article are exercises that you can also perform in conjunction with a solid upper body workout. Walking lunges are a great single-leg exercise to build your quads, but they can be tough on the knees because your force (your bodyweight, external weight, and forward momentum combined) crashes onto your front leg. In this article, I’ll expand on each of these alternatives and provide you with reasons why you should do one over another based on your preferences and goals. The purpose of doing a Z-press is to isolate your shoulders to a greater extent. For many people, however, they aggravate shoulder injuries and cranky elbows.Instead, use the dumbbell floor press, which limits the range of motion and reduces stress on your shoulders. Start in a split-stance position with your front foot a few feet in front of your rear foot. You can change the equipment you use to overhead press by swapping the barbell for either dumbbells, machines, or even your own bodyweight. Start in a deadlift position and place a kettlebell a few feet in front of you. The dumbbell shoulder press is an alternative to overhead press that allows lifters to modify their grip. Lay flat on your back with your feet on a stability ball. The overhead press is one of the best exercises to improve the development of your shoulders. You can change the range of motion of the overhead press by only focusing on the bottom or top end of the range of motion. Because you’re performing the movement using a single arm, not only do you get the benefit of overloading the movement, but you can train each arm independently. This exercise is a variation of the dumbbell shoulder press that was made popular by bodybuilding legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger. To make this harder, add a weighted vest or place a plate on your upper-back. It teaches you to stabilize the weight with your entire body and drive force from the ground, through your core, and out through your arms.But because it also demands upper-body mobility (especially in your thoracic spine and shoulders), many guys get shoulder discomfort during the overhead press. The Romanian deadlift (RDL) is an unbeatable way to build thick hamstrings, glutes and back muscles, but can be a difficult and painful exercise for people with lower back issues. Start the swing by hiking the kettlebell between your legs. You will start with a front dumbbell raise and then move directly into a lateral dumbbell raise. Then, curl your feet while continuing to lift your hips. Check out this guide on the handstand push-up to get started. When using dumbbells, you may need to get a spotter to place the dumbbells in your hands. Some exercises are harder than others. I would only do the Z-Press if you already have superior overhead mobility and have mastered the basics of the overhead press. It can be a bit tricky at first to figure out how close you should kneel in front of the barbell. While keeping your torso still, rotate your forearms and “stir” the ball in one direction. The following list will detail the best shoulder press alternatives. This may be because of a prior injury or a lack of overhead mobility. Dips are a phenomenal bodyweight exercise to sculpt a barrel chest and strong, thick triceps. You may also be interested in my article on Should Powerlifters Do Incline Bench Press? Use the “stir-the-pot.” Start by holding a plank on a stability ball. The dumbbell Arnold press is an overhead press alternative that targets more of the medial (side) deltoid. This variation requires superior motor control, balance, and coordination. To make this harder, add a weighted vest or place a plate on your upper-back. By elevating your feet, you’ll increase the difficulty and fire your shoulder stabilizers, which makes the exercise pain-free and prevent problems in the future. Instead, use a squat variation like the Zercher squat to keep your torso vertical while targeting your core.Hold the barbell in the crook of your elbows and squat—the barbell will work as a counterbalance and increase core activation. PowerliftingTechnique.com also participates in affiliate programs with Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. If that’s the case, make the transition between each weight fast as you want to treat these exercises as a superset rather than having an extended break in between. The incline bench (and even the flat bench) can irritate the shoulders because it unnaturally immobilizes your shoulder blades as you push the barbell. The barbell overhead press—also called the standing military press—is the best exercise to build a strong, powerful upper body. 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