The inverted press is a challenging upper body strength and flexibility exercise that requires only your bodyweight. This is how you should perform it for increased strength and flexibility.
The inverted press is a challenging upper body strength and flexibility exercise that requires only your bodyweight.
The exercise utilises an inverted position – inspired by the downward dog pose in yoga. This position requires adequate hamstring flexibility – if this is lacking, be sure to use the modified exercises described below.
Begin in a push-up position, with the core engaged and shoulders set. Keeping arms and legs straight, push the hips up to come into the inverted V position. If you have short/tight hamstrings, allow the knees to bend a little so that you can maintain balance over the hands. This is the start position – you should feel balanced between the arms and legs.
Keeping the shoulders set and the core engaged, lower your head towards your hands, keeping the elbows out to the sides. Imagine the same motion as a standing overhead press with a barbell. Maintain a strong core as you push back to the start position.
Repeat for reps or time.
The inverted position offers several unique advantages compared to the upright overhead pressing. Firstly, it requires no additional load – just bodyweight. The inverted press places the body in a position of balance, which requires a high level of core muscles recruitment. Secondly, the bent hip position prevents hip drive to aid the press. This forces the entire shoulder girdle, upper back and arms to work together. It also helps to increase awareness of these muscles.
The inverted press is often one of the first steps in the journey towards handstand mastery. Pressing strength in inversion will feel very different from upright pressing, and the added instability that comes with being inverted must be drilled regularly. Similarly, handstand push up technique can also be drilled with the inverted press, before progression to a full handstand position.
Finally, the inverted press may be useful in getting over a plateau for upper body strength. Whether you need a break from the barbell or are recovering from injury, this may be the perfect exercise alternative to refresh and revitalise your training.