Martins Licis Demonstrates His Best Tips for Overhead Presses

Emily Shiffer
·2 mins read
Photo credit: Squat University - YouTube
Photo credit: Squat University - YouTube

From Men's Health

Dr. Aaron Horschig of Squat University and reigning 2019 World's Strongest Man Martins Licis have created a strong bond, as Dr. Horschig helped Licis recover from injuries. They've created numerous training videos together, including their tips on how to master the deadlift and squat. They're back with another video to offer their tips on how to properly execute the overhead press.

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men's Health

"Most big guys don't have the flexibility to get the bar all the way down to the collar bone," notes Licis. He shares that he's had a harder time getting his strict press weight up, particularly compared to bigger men he competes against in the strongman circuit.

To improve the lift, and other overhead pressing movements, he's worked on his mobility.

"I use my lower traps and lats to retract and press my scapula to pull the bar into my collar bone," says Licis.

This helps him to transfer the force from his legs into his chest and directly into the bar.

When pressing a barbell, Licis notes he makes sure his elbows are slightly in front of his wrists (an ideally stacked position). He pulls his head and chest back slightly, and brings his spine to a neutral position.

"I never want to push my neck forward and down, because that will actually make me lose my lockout," says Licis.

For his push-press, which is more geared to Olympic weightlifting than Licis' strongman presses, Dr. Horschig notes his elbows will be a little higher to mimic the jerk typical of those types of movements. Both variations will be using the same premise, however: pushing behind, and really getting the barbell behind the head and above the ears. Horschig has a trick to keep his form on track.

"One analogy that worked for me is to think if you were pushing a window open and sticking your head through a little bit, that's helpful for getting the barbell into a good position," says Dr. Horschig.

Before getting to the workout, Licis notes that he is still recovering from being hit by a car, so he may take it a little easier in the workout.

Licis grabs a bar and starts working on his overhead press without any additional weight to warmup.

"It feels good, it takes a lot more focus to get the lockout. My lats and shoulder right now feel stiff," says Licis.

The guys then get to rotating lifts and finish the workout.

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