The Foundational Movements of CrossFit- The Shoulder Press

What is the shoulder press

The shoulder press is a basic movements that is great for building strength and mobility. The press targets the deltoids and works the chest muscles, shoulders, arms, and upper back. But it requires the whole body to be engaged including your core in order to have stability and balance as the weight shifts from the shoulders to overhead.

Your spine must remain aligned and pelvis tucked in as you push without using any momentum from your hips. So generally this is peoples weakest lift. But, that does not mean it’s useless; training the shoulder press will help you gain stability and lockout strength in you other lifts.

Correct form

When beginning the shoulder press your feet should be shoulder width apart and your hands a bit outside of your shoulders. The bar should be resting on your shoulders with your elbows slightly in front of the bar. As you begin to press your head should be pushed back so the bar path is a straight line. Your core should remain engaged and elbows lockout at the top.

Common mistakes

Often times people will forget about their core and as they press their spine becomes a C shape. You want to engage the core the whole time and keep you pelvis tucked in, so you avoid strain on your lower back.

People will also keep their elbows up too high, as if they were about to front squat. This limits you power as you press. Your elbows should only be slightly in front of the bar, so you are not just using your wrists to push the bar. Another common mistake is pushing the bar around your head. This makes a curve in the bar path and it becomes much harder. You should keep the bar on the path of least resistance.

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