Why does it seem to be okay to bend your wrist in an OHP (many many tutorials show it that way) whereas it's highly adviced (even from the same people doing these tutorials) to get your wrist in a straight line with your forearm when performing a Bench Press?

2 Answers 2


I think maybe you're mis-interpreting the tutorials or the tutorials are wrong.

The weight of the bar should fall on the base of the palm which places it right above the arm. This is true for both bench and overhead press. That is the goal you are trying to accomplish regardless of what cue you use to make it happen.

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On the left of the image, you see that the bar is not resting over the forearms. The wrist is flexed far too back.

On the right of the image, you see the that the bar is directly over the forearms. The back of the wrist is still going to be flexed back slightly though. The front of the wrist, however, is pretty straight compared to the forearms.

I think the confusion comes in when someone is told to keep their wrist straight, they focus on the back of the wrist. They focus on this, but it rolls the bar too far forward. Though, with sufficiently heavy weight, this actually becomes very difficult. In trying to straighten the back of the wrist, you fail a little but end up in the correct position.

  • Yeah maybe the tutorials are wrong I guess. A lot of them show the wrist in an OHP like the left one in your picture but for the Bench Press like the right one. Thats excactly why I wondered. So just, for both exercises, try to remain a straight wrist, in line with your forearms?
    – Suimon
    Nov 16, 2018 at 8:00
  • Oh also, what about other similar exercises like a DB Shouler Press?
    – Suimon
    Nov 16, 2018 at 8:04
  • Yes and yes. Although for dumbbells it may not matter as much. It's just optimal.
    – DeeV
    Nov 16, 2018 at 19:52

There's a couple of factors:

  1. Bent-back wrists is generally considered correct for the snatch, jerk, and overhead squat, and it is not uncommon to use the overhead press as an accessory for these Olympic movements.

  2. Most people are benching a heck of a lot more weight than they are pressing overhead.

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