Woman Exercising with Dumbells ca. 2001

Pressing a barbell overhead has somehow acquired the reputation as a dangerous exercise for the shoulders. Doctors and physical therapists routinely advise against the exercise weightlifters refer to as simply The Press on the false assumption that an injury known as “shoulder impingement” is the inevitable result.

Not only is the press perfectly safe for the shoulders — as evidenced by the fact that shoulder injuries are the least-common injuries for Olympic weightlifters who use the barbell overhead — but the correctly performed press is the best exercise for keeping shoulders strong.

Here’s why

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