How To Do Step-Up with Overhead Press

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating a Step-Up with Overhead Press

Learning how to do a Step-Up with Overhead Press is great way to tone the muscles in your legs, glutes and shoulders and practice balance. In addition, as with any exercise that involves balance, this will work your core as well. We know how great lunges are for your legs and glutes, but step-ups are another great exercise to tone that booty!

Step-Up with Overhead Press is a multi-muscle, multi-joint exercise using not only lower body and core muscles, but upper body muscles too. Using all of these muscles in the step-up motion will also increase your heart rate for a higher calorie burn. Total body moves are a fantastic way to balance out your exercise regime. They’re also functional because improving overall strength helps prevent injury and improve things like posture and back pain—especially exercises that engage the core!

The best part is that this exercise doesn’t need to be complicated. Though it calls for a step and dumbbells, you can get creative and find a bench, stool or chair that, when you step up, your knee is as a 90-degree angle. If you have any problems with knee pain or knee injury, choose a step or bench that is a bit lower. Be sure you are focusing your step up in a “heel to toe” motion to keep the exercise focused on the glutes rather than the knees. You can either use dumbbells or barbells for the overhead press.

Don’t want to step-up? Try the Stationary Lunge to Overhead Press for an exercise that targets similar muscles!

1) Start standing on the floor behind your step with weights held at shoulder height.

2) Step right foot and to bench and squeeze glute of back leg as it lifts behind you. While body is lifting up press weights overhead.  Step down to start position and lower weights back to shoulders. Switch feet and repeat.

Targets: glutes, hamstrings, shoulders


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