The Z-Press is one of the most effective yet overlooked upper body exercises.
It’s simple: an overhead barbell press done sitting on the floor.
By taking your lower body out of the equation, you’re forced to rely on your upper body and core for strength. The Z-Press result: you’ll add far more muscle to your shoulders, lats and chest. You’ll also shred your abs.
My favourite way to perform the Z-Press is by doing the 10-minute test. In it, you set a timer and do as many Z-Presses as you can in 10 minutes with an unloaded, 45-pound bar. Aim to do 100. (My record is 240.)
Many fitness challenges are solely meant to be suffer-fests that test your ability to endure exercise-induced pain. There’s nothing wrong with those, and I have a handful that I love because they help people realise that fatigue is often just in their head.
But I also like challenges that do more than just kick your arse. The Z-Press test challenges you physically and mentally, but it also improves your mobility and shoulders and hips strength, and increases stability in your core. That means you’ll be able to lift more weight with better form, leading to bigger strength gains and fewer injuries.
And, of course, because you'll do far more reps than you’re used to, you'll pack on muscle.
I especially like giving this test to the special forces soldiers I train. That extra upper body strength and muscle mass allows then to hit harder and faster.
The 10 minute Z-press test is just one test in my new Men's Health book, Maximus Body. It features my most effective mental and physical toughness building-drills, 100+ workouts, and the 3- and 6-month fitness program that I give to clients ranging from special forces soldiers to average guys who want to get insanely shredded.
How will you stack up?
This article originally appeared on MensHealth.com