news The Z Press Challenges Upper Body and Core Strength — Here’s How

Want to maximize your cost-effectiveness? Try the Z Press to strengthen your shoulders and increase core stability.

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Gone are the days of gasping and puffing in the weight room for hours. Thanks to today’s constant life, you need an efficient and effective workout. This means prioritizing exercises that target multiple muscle groups and pack full-body benefits.

One way to make the most of your time at the gym? Do a few sets of Z presses. This is the upper body, core, mobility, When Flexibility. Ahead, a fitness pro explains all the benefits of adding Z presses to her strength training routine, and breaks down how to strength train with proper form every time.

How to Z press

Created by strongman Zydrunas Savickas, the Z Press is basically a shoulder press that you do by sitting on the floor and extending your legs forward, says NASM-certified personal trainer and corrective exercise expert CPT, CES, PPSC. says Edith Partida of “It’s an upper body strengthening exercise, but since you’re sitting on the ground and your back is unsupported, you need to use your core to stabilize that position,” she adds.

Having trouble visualizing your movements? Watch Partida explain below how to perform a standard Z press and follow the instructions to get a better idea of ​​what the exercise entails. please.

A. Sit on the floor with your legs extended, legs spread as far as you can comfortably, holding a dumbbell in each hand, and tightening your core. Keeping your arms bent at 90 degrees to him, raise your elbows in front of you to chest level. Turn your palms toward each other. This is the starting position.

B. Squeeze your core to keep your back flat and press the dumbbell straight up with your right hand so your wrist is directly over your shoulder and your biceps are next to your ear. Avoid leaning back while pressing the weight against the ceiling.

C. Gently bend your right elbow and return the dumbbell to its starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Advantages of Key Z Press

As Partida alluded to, practicing the Z press can help strengthen your shoulders. When some good cores. Among other things, here’s what you should know about these key benefits:

improve daily functioning

By building shoulder strength, the Z press can create a pattern of everyday movement. many Easy, says Partida. Note: The basis of the Z press is an overhead pressing motion, probably a pattern you do every day. For example, reach your arm up to the ceiling to place a box of holiday decorations on a high shelf in your closet. And do the same thing by gently tossing a giggling baby up into the air. By practicing this functional exercise and continuing to add weight, you will be able to lift heavier bins and babies with easy and safe form.

Challenge Core Stability

Z press is not However It’s a shoulder exercise that tests and builds muscle group stability, so it’s equally beneficial for the core, Partida says. including the obliques, transversus abdominis, and erector spinae), whose primary job is to protect the spine and keep it upright. To do this, your core muscles must be strong and fully contracted to create stability. shape Previously reported. Not having enough core stability can deal with lower back pain and lower back strain. “If [your core] Subjecting your body to different types of movement will not give you enough intensity. [weakness] It can lead to injury and back pain. ”

That’s why Z Press is so valuable. To perform the exercise with proper form (avoid slouching), the core musculature must be activated. This core bracing also protects the spine throughout the movement, improving stability as you add weight and reps.

Tests hamstring and thoracic spine mobility

The Z-press helps measure flexibility and mobility in your hamstrings and thoracic spine (the portion of your spine that spans from the base of your neck to the bottom of your ribs), says Partida. For those unfamiliar, flexibility is the ability of connective tissue to temporarily stretch. If you lack flexibility in your hamstrings, you’ll struggle to keep your feet straight on the floor during the Z press, says Partida.

Mobility, on the other hand, is the ability to actively control and access the entire range of motion within a joint. In particular, the thoracic spine needs mobility to move the body and maintain the correct posture. But sitting at a desk all day can likely put you on the stiff side, which can affect your Z-press performance. , [your thoracic spine] The area is pretty closed,” says Partida.

Basically, pressing Z allows you to warn if there are limits. Luckily, there are fixes you can use to reap the benefits of exercise even if you lack flexibility or mobility. Partida says it will allow you to slowly make your way to the press.


Muscles trained by Z press

While the Z press calls for all your deltoids (muscles that line the top of your shoulder), this move primarily targets your front (aka front) deltoids, says Partida. This exercise also strengthens the trapezius muscles (aka traps), which start at the base of the neck and extend across the shoulders to the middle of the back. increase. This is necessary to slowly lower the weight as you return it to your shoulders, working your core to keep your core upright and stable.

Z press variation

A basic Z press may not fit your body or your goals, but that’s perfectly fine. Try these variation ideas to scale down or level up your exercise as needed.

Modification: Landmine Z Press

Are you dealing with tight hamstrings? Try a Z-press with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Both of these tweaks relieve tension in your hamstrings, and once your flexibility improves, slowly lower the box or plate until it sits flat on the ground. If so, try doing a Z press with your back against a wall, advises Partida.

You can also perform the Landmine Z Press, which doesn’t require as much balance, core stability, and thoracic spine mobility as a traditional Z Press. This is because one end of the heavy bar rests against the floor and the wall in front of your body, taking the load off your shoulders and core. Also, the fix may feel a little easier on your hips than a standard Z press, as you’ll be slouching a bit throughout the movement.

Progression: Barbell Z Press

To make the Z press even harder, swap out the dumbbells for barbells. This requires thoracic spine mobility and trunk stability. This is because both arms must be lifted overhead at the same time.

Common Z key mistakes

As you push the weights toward the ceiling and back onto your shoulders, avoid a backward lean that can cause discomfort in your lower back. Instead, focus on maintaining good posture with a flat back and keeping your body bent at an almost 90-degree angle. to leave. This is the key to protecting your spine. When building stability.

How to add a Z press to your routine

Before you bring the shoulder press to the floor and try the Z press, we recommend that you consult your doctor first if you have a current or experienced shoulder injury. That’s because the movement puts additional stress on the joints, says Partida. .

Once you’ve been given the green light, try performing Z-presses near the start of your workout. In general, if you want to improve your muscle endurance, do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps. Above all, don’t be shy about modifying your movements to suit your body, experience level and needs. Flexibility, mobility and core strength will develop over time and you will definitely feel stronger and more powerful no matter which variation you choose.

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