Master the Strict Press: Tips, Techniques, and Workouts

Rated among basic movements, the strict press has several benefits when done right.

It is a fantastic option for building strength in the upper body. It is also one of the most sought after weight lift exercises that work on the shoulders, leg region, back, and more.

With similarities to the deadlift and bench press, the routine adopts an overhead movement that stimulates upper body strength significantly.

Leverage information in this post to get this pressing routine done right;

Strict Press – How-To

Following the step-by-step guide below will give you a great idea of how to perform strict press movements without hassle,

Warm-up session

  • Perform eight tight bottoms up kettlebell or barbell presses on each side
  • Do five pull-ups with high intensity
  • Consider performing any mobility exercise with a focus on bettering the impact of your barbell overhead press

Main overhead movement

  1. Start by lifting the bar from the rack and place both palms onto your chest area
  2. Get a slightly wider than shoulder width grip with a tight stance. Your legs should be positioned right to allow for better lift support. When positioning your legs, avoid tilting at all costs
  3. Position your wristed and stack them over your elbows slightly when holding the barbell
  4. Place hands on the barbell so that your palms have a tight fit on its bar. Letting the barbell sit on your hands allows for better grip and improved lifting potential
  5. Work barbell with a stepwise approach, gripping the floor using your feet. Your best stance in this position should be between your hips and slightly broader than your shoulders’ width.
  6. Work the bar with different stances to know your favored position when performing an overhead shoulder press
  7. Before taking up the shoulder press, contract your lat muscles and brace your torso. Taking belly breaths help load your oblique muscles with enough pressure
  8. Press the barbell through by bringing it overhead while positioned on your palms. Once the bar passes your head area, contract your shoulders and keep your head between your arms
  9. Take bar back to rack and set your stance for repeated reps

Strict Press – Muscles Worked


Apart from being a great shoulder press exercise, the strict press works on deltoid muscles with increased focus. Since the bar has a great focus on your shoulders, easier gripping, and better weight training is possible.


Just like any other overhead press exercise, the strict movement focuses on extended forearm training.

Scapular stabilizers

Getting sturdy shoulder blades is essential for significant crossfit and powerlift reps. Strict press reps are a great way to start building scapular support for better lifting potential.

Perks of the Strict Press Movement

Increased muscle targeting

Powerlifters, crossfit enthusiasts and other weight lifters need better hip, arm, shoulder, and torso muscle buildup.

With the overhead bar movement, weightlifting enthusiasts can start maximizing their muscle targeting needs time and again.

strict press how to

Better upper body strength

Aside from having great hip and legs balance, lifting weights requires tons of upper body strength.

Ideal movements for power lifts

Competitors in strength sports need overhead pressing for sustained performance. Carrying over to total strength is the main aim of strict pressing, making it a must for weightlifting performers.


What muscles does strict press work?

Muscles worked by overhead pressing

  • Deltoids
  • Scapulars
  • Triceps
strict press woman

What is the difference between push press and strict press?

The push press requires lesser body movement than the strict press. The only body parts likely to move during the push press are the elbows, arms, and shoulders.

But with the strict press, more leg motion may be necessary to complete each rep.

What are the common faults in the strict press?

  • Having a foot stance lesser than your hips width
  • Internal rotation of shoulders
  • Placing elbows behind the bar in a starting position
  • Taking a foot stance lesser than your shoulders width
  • Tilting your anterior pelvic region
  • Tilting your posterior pelvic region

Bottom Line

Getting the strict press right is essential to greater muscle strength and endurance. With information in this post, you can leverage this routine to your advantage and get great results.

Make sure you start your routine with the right warm-ups if you are keen on obvious results in record time.

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