- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredBarbell
- Force TypePush (Bilateral)
- Experience LevelIntermediate
- Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group
Z Press Overview
The Z press is a seated variation of the overhead press that primarily targets the muscles of the shoulder.
The Z press is a variation used by predominately powerlifters and strongmen competitors to train the upper body to keep an upright position while pressing overhead.
It is also beneficial for bodybuilders to perform the Z press if they are looking to completely isolate the pushing muscles as it does completely take leg drive out of the pressing equation.
Z Press Instructions
- Adjust the safety pins to shoulder height while seated on the floor.
- Set the bar on the pins, load the desired weight, and sit directly beneath the bar with your legs straight and torso upright.
- Place your hands at (or just outside of) shoulder width with a pronated grip on the bar.
- Inhale, brace your abs, tuck your chin, and push the bar to lockout overhead.
- Exhale once the bar gets to lockout and reverse the movement slowly while controlling the bar back to the pins.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Z Press Tips
- Reach tall at the top and don’t worry about keeping the shoulders packed down and back.
- Allow the elbows to rotate and point outward at the top of the movement but tuck them tight to the ribcage at the bottom.
- Fight to control the bar from rolling your wrists into extension and think about “rolling your knuckles toward the ceiling.”
- Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs as you press. You shouldn’t be leaning back excessively as you press.
- Imagine you’re trying to look out a window at the top, your ears should be in line with your biceps.
- If your shoulders are bothering you during the movement, consider experimenting with a wider grip or utilizing some of the vertical pressing progressions listed on the site.