NASM-CPT CES, Author, and Trainer Kirk Charles understands that as you age, life can become increasingly difficult. However, it shouldn’t keep you from being at your best. He’ll be able to answer the tricky training issues associated with age so you may too be Fit After 40.
My number one priority has always been my shoulders. However, overhead pressing—which is among the finest shoulder builders—is particularly tough for me. Because of my poor shoulder mobility, I frequently end up arching my back slightly while standing to raise my arms straight up, resulting in a posterior arch in my lower back that puts me at risk of injury. The Z-press, on the other hand, is an exercise that I use to increase shoulder strength without experiencing the same problems as with the overhead press.
The Z-press motion helps me to avoid slumping and lower back arching since the position takes my hips and legs out of the picture. Even better, I must engage my core to support my torso, which is one thing that older men should do as frequently as possible.
How to Perform the Z-Press
Set up the Z-press with a light kettlebell (a dumbbell may also be used). Sit down on the ground with your legs fully extended, toes pointed up toward the ceiling, knees in front of you. Keep the back straight and raise the kettlebell to a front rack starting position. Squeeze together your shoulder blades and try to keep your chest up as you begin. From the first position, press the kettlebell upward, squeezing your shoulders at the top of the movement. Then return slowly to the beginning position.
Keep your spine straight (parallel to the floor is best). When males’ legs are totally stretched out along the floor because of hamstring tightness, it might be tough for them to do so. You might consider widening your legs, which may help you be more comfortable and sit up straighter. If that does not work, bend your knees a little to sit up straighter while protecting your back.
Keeping the core engaged can also help improve your posture and protect your back. If you do not have the strength to press the kettlebell skyward with perfect form, you may lean and arch your back a little to help you lift it. That, as we previously said, might be a source of injury. Try to focus more on keeping your abs tight and your body straight. If that does not work, you may want to use a smaller weight.
Try adding the Z-Press to your next upper body session. To get started, ease into it to make sure you are able to comfortably transition into the required position. Then, progress to 4 working sets of about six-to-eight rep sets.