Overhead Press Question

claston77 Posts: 103 Member
So I'm in Cycle 3, Week Four right now, I just did my heavy day this morning and for Cyle 4 (assuming I pass) I can finally give up the dumbbells shoulder presses and move onto the barball. But as with the SLDL there seems to be soooooo many variations and from what I'm reading itt's a highly technical lift meaning that if you have bad form doing it you could be setting yourself up for trouble. My deal is I have a bad lower back and lifting has certainly reduced A LOT of the pain I've been having but not all of it. For example I can't do bent over rows with the barbell because that really gives me pain so I do one arm rows instead which still aren't totally comfortable but manageable. So my question is do you think the OHP with the barbell will be potentially troublesome for my back? And if so should I just stick with dumbbells? And if it's okay to do I've seen all kinds of variations of this so what *version* is everyone else doing?


  • pandorakick
    pandorakick Posts: 901 Member
    For OHP I'm still using dumbbells, I do the variation known as "Arnold presses".

    I really don't know whether a barbell is more injury prone for this exercise then dumbbells. I have noticed however that most barbell lifts feel easier to me then their dumbbell equivalents. Probably because with dumbbells the stabilizer muscles have to work harder. Guess you'll just have to try it out... carefully!
  • jasonheyd
    jasonheyd Posts: 524 Member
    Yep, what pandorakick said... The barbell forces you to maintain a given separation between the hands, and in some ways the barbell can make things easier because your arms work together to stage the weight and maintain balance.

    With OHP, especially, I find it significantly harder to maintain the same form with dumbbells as I use for the barbell. That fact alone tends to make dumbbell / barbell versions of the same exercise at least slightly different.

    So, I suspect the barbell may actually be easier & place less strain on your back. But, go slow to see how it feels. :)
  • Martucha123
    Martucha123 Posts: 1,093 Member
    For me barbell is way easier on back, I switch to dumbbels only becuase my left arm is sooo much weaker and i need it to catch up
  • claston77
    claston77 Posts: 103 Member
    Thanks for all the replies....I did try with an empty bar and I felt fine and like some of you said "easier" than with dumbbells. However my barbell OHP will have to wait since I failed my DB OHP on this morning's test day for the second cycle in a row :sad: :laugh:
  • pandorakick
    pandorakick Posts: 901 Member
    You could look for fixed plate smaller sized barbells. My gym has besides the olympic barbells also smaller fixed plate barbells for curls and such. These are in smaller weight increments like 10 lg, 15 kg, 20 kg etc. Those are what I use for OHP, BP and BOR, because I'm not quite strong enough for the olympic barbell and plates for those exercises.