Shoulder Exercises

How to Do an Alternating Z Press

Attack everything at once—literally—by adding the Z press to your delts routine.

Alternating Z Press Exercise
Per Bernal

The go-to strength builder for delts is often the lateral raise. And thats OK because it's a move that'll provide results. However, it's wise to also tag in the Z press—which activates not only your shoulders but also your core, back, and hips—to achieve the same goal. Never heard of it? Time to get acquainted.

When to Do It

The best time to implement the Z press is at the beginning of your workout. That’s because this move exploits your joints and muscles, which means you wouldn't be able to use perfect form later in your workout. 

Why Do It

There are two reasons to do the Z press. One, it mobilizes your hips, thoracic spine, and shoulders due to the unique sitting position, as your legs are sprawled out. Two, pressing kettlebells overhead will strengthen your
shoulders, upper back, and core. You’ll be amazed at the difficulty of a seemingly simple exercise.

How to Do It: Alternating Z Press

  1. Sit on the floor with legs fully extended, feet spread shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold two kettlebells in the front rack position at shoulder height. You can also point your elbows up and outward to create more of a nest for the bell to sit in. Sit tall and attempt to keep a completely flat and tall spine; don’t lean back or slouch.
  3. Press one bell straight up while keeping the other hand down. Slowly lower the first bell and then push with the other arm.

Pro Tip: You can also do the Z press with dumbbells, a barbell, or a sandbag.

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