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24. 8. 2012.

Overhead press test

The objective of this test is to monitor the strength of the athletes elbow extensors and superior shoulder girdle muscles.

Required resources

To undertake this test you will require:
  • Universal overhead press station
  • A supportive lumbar lifting belt.

How to conduct the test

The test is conducted as follows:
  • The athlete stands and learns into the apparatus with the back leg straight and the front foot leg bent at the knee at about 150 degrees.
  • The hand grips are adjacent to the front of the shoulders.
  • The initial resistance should be about 33% of male body mass and 25% of female body mass.
  • As the weight is lifted, the body should move slightly forward so that the extended arms and trunk and rear leg should from a straight line.
  • If the athlete can successfully complete one repetition, repeat the procedure after one minute, adding an additional weight to the previous resistance.
  • Continue with this procedure, allowing one minute recovery between attempts until the 1RM has been determined.
  • A supportive lumbar lifting belt is recommended for this exercise during maximal lifts.
  • Record the final resistance.


Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

Target group

This test is suitable for active athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Reliability would depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual’s level of motivation to perform the test.


No published tables to relate results to potential performance in competition.

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