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Overhead Press - Could it lead to lower back injury?

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Hey guys, first post here.


So, I'm not an experienced lifter, been lifting for over 18 months now, and I've been getting awesome results using Wendler 5X3X1. I feel comfortable with all the compound lifts. I'm not moving lot of weight yet, but consistency is key, right?


The thing is, Wendler focuses on personal records for every day you train. So last week, I was doing my Overhead Press Day (I do the Overhead Press standing) normally, just to be interrupted by an instructor at my gym in the middle of attempting my record. He said I was putting to much pressure on my lower back while lifting the bar, and I should try to do the Overhead Press on the Smith machine, so as to isolate my shoulders. He said if I continued to do standing, free-weight Overhead Press, I would most likely destroy my lower back.


We got into a bit of an argument. I said I wanted to do a compound exercise, not an isolation one, and had never heard anybody complain about lower back pain because of the Overhead Press. He said it was really up to me, but I should be more conscious of my lower back muscles.

I'm pretty sure my form was good, and I also see people doing this exercise all the time. So here it is: I would like to ask you guys, what risks to my lower back could the Overhead Press present? Are there any risks?, was the guy exaggerating? or am I really out of my depth here?

Thanks!

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If you don't keep tight, yes you can damage your lower back but the same can be said for just about any weight lifting movement.

 

I went through a stage where I kept hurting my back due to over extension, so I switched to seated press to build strength and only moved to standing press for a one off max effort.

The barbell standing press is a rare sight in most gyms so no surprises about the instructors comments.

 

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+1 Everything Simon said.

 

The trainer at your gym is full of shit.

  • Upvote 1

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Tight belly, tight butt, no back injury

get loose, and like Simon said, you can

keep in mind most personal trainers get their credentials via a weekend (or shorter) class taught by another goober with a weekend cert

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Always squeeze your glutes as hard as you can while pressing!

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