Pro Strongman Rob Kearney Teaches Us How to Z Press (VIDEO)

The Z Press is a shoulder press variation that can benefit every type of strength athlete and lifter. This shoulder press variation was first popularized in the sport of strongman, and it is often associated with professional strongmen Zydrunas Savickas and Derek Poundstone.

The Z Press has become a staple for many lifters in the gym with the growth of strongman and the popularization of functional fitness. It’s a great shoulder accessory that can improve upper body strength and hypertrophy, while improving core strength and hip mobility. For these reasons, both dedicated strength athletes and recreational lifters can reap all of the benefits the Z Press has to offer.

How to Z Press With Rob Kearney

  • If you’re new to the Z Press, then we’d recommend checking out our in-depth Z Press guide to learn more about the form, benefits, and programming considerations that come along with this exercise. 

To help us take our Z Press knowledge a step further, we enlisted the help of Professional Strongman Rob Kearney and had him in office to walk us through the movement.

Kearney currently holds the -105kg Strongman American and World Log Press Records, so needless to say, Kearney knows a thing or two about pressing big weight. Check out the video below!

Z Press Tips

The video is packed with Z Press tips and we wanted to highlight three of our favorites below!

1. Put Your Ego Away

In the video, Kearney stressed that the Z Press is not an ego driven movement. He explained that there needs to be careful attention on form and it’s often a movement performed for higher reps, so scaling back weight to practice perfect reps is typically a good idea.

2. Improve Hip Mobility

Kearney explains that the Z Press is often a tough exercise for many lifters due to issues with hip mobility. He recommended spending a little extra time opening and warming-up the hips before performing the Z Press. If you need help opening your hips, then check out this hip opening article for ideas!

3. Common Errors

The Z Press is a technical movement, and with technical movements can come errors. In the video, Kearney highlights three common errors he sees with athletes and clients performing the Z Press.

  • Error 1: Leaning back during the press
  • Error 2: Bending the knees
  • Error 3: Craning the neck to the side
Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master’s in Sports Science and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,300 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake’s bread-and-butter.

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