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Fitness & Health

26th Jul 2018

WATCH: Powerlifter easily smashes a 143kg overhead press while wearing flip-flops

American Larry Wheels shows shoulders of steel in this seriously impressive footage

Alex Roberts

When it comes to building size and strength, the overhead press is an absolutely essential exercise

All three heads of the shoulder muscle experience growth and stimulation with the overhead press, but if you thought this lift was all about devastating delts, you’d be mistaken.

It’s difficult to get to grips with at first, but when you’ve got there the benefits are immense. You’ll experience greater shoulder size and strength, but this lift also possesses carryover to the bench press.

Among the most elite pressers in the powerlifting game today is Larry Wheels, a 23-year-old from the USA.

Wheels recently posted footage on social media of him completely dominating the lift:

Wheels managed a ridiculously impressive 315 lbs, which equates to around 143 kg.

For a lift so heavy, it would usually involve a lot of leg drive to get the weight up and overhead. These reps seem to be strict, though.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, Wheels even managed it while wearing flip-flops. Not the most convenient of workout shoes.

The overhead press is a fine example of a full-body lift, calling on every fibre of your being. In addition to building bigger shoulders, you’ll also give your triceps and upper chest a good blast in the process.

Ideally, this lift should be performed off pins in a power rack, as Wheels shows.

The exercise requires strength in all areas. Here is how to perform the overhead press with optimal form:

  • Grip the bar with hands shoulder-width apart
  • Bring the barbell in line with your upper chest
  • Your palms should be facing outward
  • Press the weight overhead, flexing your shoulders at the top of the lift

To keep pressing pain-free, ensure your elbows remain forward, not flared out.

Keep your abs engaged and your back straight to fend off injury and increase your strength. This also allows you to create enough tension to actually press the barbell overhead.


Read more on building boulder shoulders the pain-free way