Don’t just bench press. Mix it up and do some overhead presses in you next workouts.
Charles Poliquin has Five Great Reasons to Overhead Press
Reason #1: It develops the deltoids, traps and triceps.
This will save you time in the gym. Being a multi-joint exercise the overhead press works single muscle groups harder due to the inferior force curves involved in many isolation exercises
Reason #2: It improves results in the bench press.
Use it to overcome plateaus.
Reason #3: It can prevent shoulder injuries.
Training only the bench press shortens the subscapularis muscle, puts pressure on the shoulder joint and may injure the shoulder.
Again variation trumps monotony… who would have thought.
Reason #4: It’s a great conditioner for the lower back and other core muscles.
Overhead pressing makes weaknesses in the lower back obvious.
Reason #5: It’s a great diagnostic tool for the strength coach.
Poliquin uses it in his Level 1 PICP course for structural balance testing.
There are two ratios of interest that can suggest this:
The first is the ratio of the seated dumbbell overhead press to the bench press.
The weight done for 8 reps on each dumbbell should represent 29 percent of the close-grip bench press measure. In other words, a man able to close-grip bench about 220 pounds for a single would use a pair of 65’s for 8 reps in the seated dumbbell overhead presses.
The second is the ratio of the behind-the-neck press to the bench press. The weight for a 1 RM behind-the-neck press from a seated position should represent 66 percent of the weight used for a 1 RM in the close-grip bench press. That load is lifted from a dead-stop position with the bar resting on the traps, not from a weight handed off in the lock-out position.
His article also provides a “Sixteen Workouts to Better Pressing” plan.
So if you are lacking some overhead strength, give it a shot.