One of the ways to use this specialty barbell is by doing multi grip swiss bar overhead presses. Find out whether these are good.
Multi grip swiss bar overhead presses make it easier to do this exercise with your upper arms at angles that are safer for your shoulders.
These angles also tend to work your front deltoids a bit more and your middle deltoids a bit less.
Additionally, you may find the neutral or angled grips of the swiss bar more comfortable on your wrists.
One thing to keep in mind during the multi grip swiss bar overhead press is that the bar is wider than a regular barbell.
You need to keep it a bit more forward and pay more attention to tilting your head back when the bar passes to avoid bumping your head into it.
How to do a swiss bar overhead press
As you can expect, you will need a good multi grip swiss bar, weight plates, and preferably a bar rack to be able to do swiss bar overhead presses.
Once you have the equipment requirements, take the following steps to do the exercise:
- Find a swiss bar rack and rack the bar at about chest height. Add the desired number of weight plates.
- Grab the swiss bar with your hands on the handles that align the most with your training goals. When in doubt, hold the ones slightly wider than shoulder width or closer.
- Unrack the swiss bar and take a few steps back so that you have enough room. Stand up straight with your feet at more or less shoulder width. Hold the swiss bar at about shoulder height. Your elbows should point slightly more forward than just a horizontal line with your shoulders.
- Move the swiss bar up in a controlled motion until your arms are slightly less than stretched. Move your head backward and out of the way when the bar is around chin height.
- Lower the swiss bar back into the position of step 3 in a controlled motion. Again move your head backward when needed.
You typically want to do the multi grip swiss bar overhead presses slowly. This helps you avoid bumping your head into the bar and helps you really work your muscles.
In theory, you can also do swiss bar overhead presses without a rack but then you need to clean (type of movement) the bar up to shoulder height. Multi grip swiss bars are not ideal for this.
That aside, make sure you point your upper arms somewhat forward during the movement. This will generally be safer for your shoulders.
How much more forward depends on what feels comfortable to you and what muscles you want to work more.
One last thing to note is that you want to keep in mind that multi grip swiss bar weights tend to be slightly lower than barbells.
At the same time, it can still be smart to start off a bit too light since the swiss bar will change the movement somewhat.
Swiss bar overhead press muscles worked
Multi grip swiss bar overhead presses mainly work your front deltoids (shoulders), middle deltoids, and triceps. The standing version works your core muscles to a small extent too.
What handles you choose and whether they are neutral or angled influence the angle of your upper arms during the overhead press.
In turn, this influences what part of your deltoids (main shoulder muscle) you work the most.
The more you point your upper arms forward, the more the exercise works the front part of your deltoids and the less the movement works the middle part of your deltoids.
Besides that, similar to other multi grip swiss bar exercises you still need to do overhead presses with the right resistance, repetition, and set ranges for your training goals.
Swiss bar overhead press benefits
Using the multi grip swiss bar in overhead press instead of other equipment options can offer a few benefits. Some of these are:
- Can reduce injury risk: One of the main things to focus on in overhead presses is pointing your upper arms forward enough. Swiss bars make this easier to do thanks to the angles of their handles.
- Can improve wrist comfort: Another consequence of these unusual handles is that most people will find swiss bar overhead presses more comfortable for their wrists than straight bars.
- Adds variety: Many people find it easier to stay consistent with workout routines that implement variety. Using a swiss bar for your overhead presses can help with this.
- Works muscles in a different ratio: Multi grip swiss bar overhead presses tend to focus more on the front deltoids and less on the side deltoids. Some people will prefer this muscle engagement.
- Can be used in other exercises: While this is not specific to the overhead press, it is worth mentioning that you can use multi grip football bars in many other movements too.
Multi grip swiss bar overhead presses are not completely unique but it should be clear that this exercise can be a valuable addition to your exercise routine.
It is worth quickly noting that some people will still find multi grip swiss bar overhead presses uncomfortable on their shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
If you know that these are weak areas for you, you likely want to start with light weights and potentially start with easier exercises first.
Additionally, even if they make this easier, you may still need to pay attention to the angles of your upper arms during multi grip swiss bar overhead presses to decrease your chances of injuries.
Is the multi grip swiss bar overhead press a good exercise?
Multi grip swiss bar overhead presses can be a great exercise to work your deltoid and tricep muscles.
This specialty barbell makes it easier to keep your upper arms at angles that are considered to be safer for your shoulders.
Additionally, the angled and/or neutral handles may feel more comfortable on your wrists.
Besides that, swiss bar overhead presses tend to work your muscles in slightly different ratios. This can be good or bad depending on what part of your deltoids you want to focus.
One thing to keep in mind is that the swiss bar is wider than a barbell. You may need to hold it more forward and focus more on tilting your head back when the bar passes there.
Is the swiss bar good for the overhead press?
The swiss bar can be good for the overhead press in the sense that it makes it easier to keep your upper arms at safer angles and that the handles likely feel easier on your wrists.