Why The Overhead Press Is More Important Than Your Bench

Not so conventional wisdom.

The monday morning benchpress is probably as routine as brushing your teeth at this point. You do it because it works, you can track your progress, and as with any habit, because you’ve always done it. While we definitely can’t argue with what works, we can suggest BETTER, and when it comes to overall muscle and joint health overhead presses are exactly that.


Exhibit A: While the support of laying flat on your back does allow you to push massive weight, it also takes work away from the muscles surrounding the shoulders. In an overhead press there’s less counterstrain on the joints because all muscles surrounding the shoulders are involved.

Exhibit B: When done correctly, overhead pressing brings the shoulder into 50% more ROM (range of motion) than the benchpress. Again, this goes back to joint health and mobility.

Exhibit C: No cheating. The strict press leaves little to no room for cheating. When you combine that with the ROM of an overhead press you get activation of the major muscle groups such as the abdominals and back which are great for stability purposes.


The bottom line: While the benchpress certainly has it’s place, it’s no longer the Benchmark (couldn’t help myself) of fitness. Give your broey mondays some efficiency and sophistication by trying some standing and push presses instead. This will improve your shoulder health, core strength, and posture as well as leading to serious mass and strength building.

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