We coach others through our calisthenics and resistance training routines. Generally speaking, the Z press provides optimal results when you go for a higher rep range. I have been training for a few years now and I have tried out A LOT of different pressing variations. One of the most important reasons to do Z Presses lies in #3. 2.THEY HIT YOUR UPPER BACK THE HARDEST OUT OF ALL PRESSING MOVEMENTS. Both movements are discussed below, complete with movement demonstrations and a full breakdown on the  Z Press versus overhead press results. Today I am going to give you 8 reasons as to why the Z Press is my absolute favorite vertical pressing exercise in existence. Military Press vs Overhead Press • Military press is a variation of overhead press. © Copyright 2015, Fitworld Publishing Limited Corporation, All Rights Reserved. Push Press vs. Remember that benching isn’t going to hit your upper back and shoulders as hard as vertical presses along with Z Presses will so you might as well put more of your emphasis on overhead pressing variations if you want to get really jacked. Another good thing is that doing tons of push presses and heavy OHP’s could cause some wear and tear on your shoulders overtime if done too heavy and excessively, but the fact that you will be doing the Z Press as an assistance movement means that you won’t be able to use as much weight. Standing barbell vs. standing dumbbell - muscle activation was 39% greater for the standing barbell press. I’ve said it in countless articles that if you want to get a MASSIVE upper body then the most important muscles are the shoulders, upper back, traps, neck and forearms. Luckily for the viewers, Big Z invented his own exercise called the Z Press which was actually one of his main assistance exercises for building up his legendary vertical pressing power. In it, you set a timer and do as many Z-Presses as you can in 10 minutes with an unloaded, 45-pound bar. Below is a video tutorial on how to perform the standing overhead press by Brian Shaw, “Silent” Mike Farr, and Mark Bell. Before I move on to the next benefit, some other important factors that come into play with the Z Press are trunk strength, hip flexor mobility, lumbar/thoracic health and hamstring flexibility. Of course, the Z press is not better, but its just a different variation that is very effective and if you want to make it a main movement then you could do … Both of these movements, while overhead pressing in nature, do target slightly different muscles groups, and therefore can accompany one another in a well written program. I have to say that you shouldn’t expect miracles from the Z Press either because at the end of the day its just an assistance exercise, but it really is a bang-for-your-buck movement that will help you out a lot. A lot of people say that Z Presses are hard on the lower back and I could kind of understand where they are coming from, but I personally do them off of pins in a power rack and have found that if you let the bar sit on the pins in between each rep then it allows your spine to “de-load” because it means that your lower back is only under stress for a few seconds and then it gets a second to rest. It’s also a functional exercise as lifting overhead is a movement you do in daily life. Join the BarBend Newsletter for everything you need to get stronger. The views expressed on this site may come from individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the view of BarBend or any other organization. Overhead press is an exercise that works the shoulders, upper back, triceps, and biceps. The overhead press can be done with a wide array of equipment (like the Z Press), however some of the most popular forms include the barbell, dumbbell, and kettlebell overhead press. Aim to … Building stronger muscles and sound movement patterning throughout a full range of motion can do wonders for joint health. Although if you really want to take your OHP to the next level then you will need to incorporate some direct overhead tricep work because it will have a big impact on your lockout strength. I have NEVER felt my upper back working so hard during ANY form of vertical or horizontal presses. The Z Press is a pressing variation that works the upper back, traps, shoulders, and core to facilitate better overhead mechanics, upper boy hypertrophy, and control. That said, strength and power athletes do rely on joint integrity and muscular balance (between the back and front of the body), making the Z Press a fine training exercise to build all of the above attribute above.