Bench press is a staple in most gyms, and for good reason – it’s an effective exercise that targets the chest, shoulders and triceps. But what if you don’t have a bench? Or what if you want to change up your routine? Can overhead press replace bench press? It depends.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of overhead press and see how it compares to bench press.
The standing overhead press is an excellent upper-body exercise for building muscle. The bench press has replaced the standing overhead press as the most effective upper-body exercise, despite the fact that it was the primary exercise for some of the most impressive physiques of the past. Overhead pressing has been used by weightlifting legends like Arnold, Sandow, and Steve Reeves.
That said, the overhead press can be a good substitute for the bench press if you’re looking for a change of pace or you don’t have access to a bench. Just make sure that you use a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with proper form. Start with a weight that is about 60% of what you would use for the bench press and work your way up from there.
Does standing overhead press works your upper chest?
In fact, it is primarily a shoulder builder, but you’ll get some upper-chest development from doing overhead presses, but it’s also a good idea to do some incline work as well.
However, some people argue that the overhead press is a better alternative to the bench press.
Standing overhead presses has advantages over bench presses
You will get a full body workout
There is also a lot of work done on your legs, abs and legs when you press. More HGH is released when muscles are worked harder. While the bench press just only engages the anterior deltoid the overhead press engages all 3 heads of the shoulder.
Shoulder imbalances can be corrected with overhead pressing
Excessive bench pressing can cause shoulder imbalances. It is possible for people who bench press frequently but neglect their back and rear shoulders to develop rounded shoulders. Overhead presses can be used to correct this problem by working all three heads of the shoulders.
A spotter is not necessary
Unlike the bench press, you will not require a spotter for the overhead press. Getting stuck under the bar will never happen because all you have to do is relax your grip on the bar and let it fall to the floor instead of your chest or face.
Targets the shoulders better than the bench press
Wide shoulders gives you that 3d look which is sought after by all lifters, the overhead press targets the deltoids more than the bench press. For this reason, the overhead press may be a better choice for people who want to develop their bigger deltoids.
The overhead press is more functional
This means that the overhead press is more likely to be used in everyday activities than the bench press. Overhead press also helps improve your shoulder mobility and range of motion, which is helpful for everyday tasks such as reaching for something on a high shelf or putting your luggage in the overhead bin on an airplane.
Therefore, the overhead press may be a better choice for people who want to improve their functional strength.
Overhead press improves overall strength and balance than the bench press
For one, the overhead press requires more balance and stability, which can help to improve your overall strength and coordination. Plus, it’s a great way to work your shoulders and upper back.
Safer on the joints than the bench press
The bench press is a popular weightlifting exercise, but it can be hard on the shoulders and other joints. The overhead press is a great alternative that is easier on the joints. When performed with proper form, the overhead press is a relatively safe exercise, making it a good option for people who have shoulder pain or injuries.
If you’re looking for an effective upper-body exercise that is easier on the joints, give the overhead press a try. You may find that it’s a great replacement for the bench press.
For these reasons, the overhead press may be a better choice than the bench press for some people.
Does Overhead Press Help Bench Press?
For some lifters, there will be some carryover from the overhead press to the bench press. Strengthening the anterior deltoid is necessary for lifters who fail in the midpoint of their bench press or touch the bar lower on their chest.
These lifters will benefit greatly from training the overhead press because it specifically targets the anterior deltoid.
What can replace bench press workouts?
For those who cannot perform the bench press because they lack a bench or a spotter, are unable to do so due to injury, or have reached a plateau in their bench press performance, there are other options.
This bench press alternative exercises will help you build the chest you desire, they are still effective just like the bench press and still works muscle groups similar to the bench press.
Barbell floor press
As with the bench press, it’s a compound exercise, so the same muscle groups are being worked.
You can’t lift the barbell all the way to your chest with this move because your elbows will hit the floor before the barbell reaches you at your chest’s full extension.
You can still activate the pecs by limiting elbow tucking with the floor press.
How to Do It?
- Locate a spot on the floor in front of a power cage.
- Laying on the floor, arrange the pins so that you can remove the barbell from the rack.
- Bend your knees and keep your feet on the ground.
- As you would normally, perform a bench press, try to keep your elbows as straight as possible.
There is a plethora of push-up variations that are excellent bench press substitutes.
You’ll want to pick a variation that will challenge you at the end of your set. Push-ups can be challenging if you choose the right variation.
The banded push-up and the weighted push-up are two of my favorite variations of the push-up exercise.
How to Do It?
Push-Ups with Bands:
- Wrap a resistance band around your upper back and hold it there.
- The band will be held in place by both hands, one on each side.
- Make sure the band is in the palm of your hand as you place your hands on the floor.
- Push-ups should be performed normally, with the goal of pushing through the resistance as quickly as possible.
Push-Up with Weights:
- A plate should be placed on your mid-back by a training partner.
- Make sure your hips aren’t sagging and your belly button is tucked in as you perform this exercise.
- Add additional weight plates to your back as needed during the push-up.
You can easily change your body position to recruit more muscles with dips, which is one of my favourite bench press alternatives to the standard one-arm press.
It’s up to you whether you want to target your upper or lower pecs by leaning forward or keeping your torso more vertical. Shoulder strength is also required at the bottom of the range of motion, as are the triceps all throughout.
Shoulder impingement can occur as a result of this exercise for some people. This exercise may not be suitable for you if you still feel pain in your shoulders after trying various torso positions.
How to Do It?
- Dip machine handles should be parallel to each other.
- Bend your elbows backward and keep a slow tempo as you lower your body to the floor.
- Take a slight forward lean and pause when your shoulders feel stretched.
- Return to your starting position by driving your body straight up.
Final thoughts on can Overhead Press Replace Bench Press
So, can overhead press replace bench press? In general, the answer is yes. But it’s important to keep in mind that the overhead press is not as effective as the bench press when it comes to targeting the chest.
If you’re looking for a exercise that targets the chest, shoulders and triceps, the bench press is a better option. But if you want to target the shoulders and triceps, the overhead press is a good choice.