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Breakthrough Fitness

Tall Kneeling Press


A strong, functional upper body requires strong upper back muscles and bulletproof shoulders. The shoulders are involved in all upper body movement. That’s why it’s important to keep them strong and healthy.

Pressing weights overhead is one of the best ways to build strong shoulders. We can do presses with barbells, bands, kettlebells and dumbbells. I like dumbbells because they allow each shoulder to function individually, like they do in real life.

Overhead pressing can be done sitting, standing or kneeling. I prefer standing and kneeling because of the emphasis it puts on the core and torso. I really like kneeling versions because it forces you to use lighter weights and focus on form. It’s almost impossible to cheat and add momentum.

Overhead pressing isn’t for everyone. If you have daily shoulder pain or severe tightness around the shoulders, I recommend going through an assessment with a good coach or physical therapist before pressing weights overhead.