Jeff Martone

Pressing weight overhead has been one of the classic tests of strength for centuries. Pressing barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, logs, bodyweight, etc. all have their place in a well-balanced training program, and all offer slight variations in stimulus and technique. Kettlebells, like dumbbells, have the advantage of permitting either one-arm or two-arm lifts, and they are biomechanically easier on the elbows and wrists than barbells and most odd objects, Regardless of the implement used, the tips and techniques outlined in this article will increase your strength and safety while pressing your implement of choice. The difference is in the details.

I know many people who have completely removed pressing movements from their training programs because they tend to aggravate a chronic wrist, elbow, shoulder, or back injury. If this is true for you, try the exercises below and pay attention to the subtle techniques of generating maximal tension before completely throwing in the towel on presses. Begin with a light weight, be patient, and practice the high tension skills as outlined below.

Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

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