Female Shoulders and Presses
Right, so I started lifting a couple of months ago, partly to improve my MA performance, and mostly to have a physical activity where I could coach myself without having to worry about anyone else (most of what I do MA-wise at the moment involves teaching children). While I'm enjoying it, I've run into some frustrating problems as far as building upper body strength is concerned.
I'm female, with a stereotypical female body: wider hips, narrow shoulders. As a result, I'm progressing just fine with squats and deadlifts, but I'm having issues making any gains at all doing overhead and bench presses, especially while using a barbell. With the overhead press, I can barely lift an unloaded bar; with the bench press, I've stalled out with 10lbs added to the bar.
I've tried, for the sake of experiment, using smaller pre-loaded barbells of the same weights, and while it was challenging, it wasn't anywhere near as strenuous. I seem to have trouble the further out from my body the weight is concentrated.
I'm wondering whether I should switch to using dumbbells for presses, or stay with the pre-loaded bars, or whether there are some additional exercises I could be doing to increase upper body strength, that I might eventually be able to manage a wider load.