EXERCISE SPOTLIGHT: Shoulder Move for Strength and Stability

I split strength training movements into two categories. I have a group of heavy compound lifts, and I have a group of powerful auxiliaries for both the upper and lower body. Today I want to share one of those powerful auxiliaries with you. It’s called the Z-Press.

The Z-Press is one of my go-to’s as an upper body auxiliary.

It’s great to build strength and stability in the shoulders, as well as strengthen the core.

This exercise was created by Zydrunas Savickas (hence the name Z-press). Zydrunas is a strongman famous for his 500 pound overhead press. The Z-Press is one of the movements that helped him achieve it.

The Z-Press requires the athlete to sit with their legs straight out. Then, the athlete grabs his dumbbells and places them by his shoulders. His shoulders should be down and back, and his elbows and wrists should be stacked. As he presses up, he should keep his upper back tight, chest up, as he presses to lockout.

You can see it performed below:

This movement requires a ton of stability throughout the body because of the seated position. The seated position removes leg drive, and your ability to arch your back. This puts an emphasis on the core and upper back.

If you flip to a neutral grip press (elbows and forearms in front of you), it requires even more core stability.

Additionally, this movement can build strength and size in the rhomboids, rear deltoids, and traps in addition to the shoulders and triceps.

Before you give this a try, you should know that this movement requires a lot of mobility through the hips, back, and hamstrings.

If you can’t perform it, try a kneeling overhead press, or a half-kneeling one. Once the mobility and stability are there, you can progress to the Z-Press.

Give it a try, let me know how it goes.


The best sports performance training on the internet. We help underdogs become elite level athletes.