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- Target muscle: Anterior Deltoid
- Synergists: Lateral Deltoid; Clavicular (upper) Pectoralis Major; Triceps Brachii; Upper, Middle, and Lower Trapezius; Serratus Anterior
- Mechanics: Compound
- Force: Push
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell with a pronated (overhand) grip at upper-chest height.
- Exhale as you push the barbell straight upward.
- At the top of the movement, shrug your shoulders to raise the barbell even higher.
- Inhale as you reverse the motions and lower the barbell to the starting position in a controlled manner.
Comments and tips
- Do not lock your elbows out.
- Use a grip that is a little wider than shoulder width.
- To move your head out of the way of the bar, rock your body slightly forward as the bar ascends and slightly backward as the bar descends.
- Keep your head facing forward; don’t look up.
- Keep your elbows a little forward, not directly out to the sides.
- Keep your wrists directly above your elbows.
- For other exercises targeting the anterior deltoid, see the band shoulder press, the Smith machine shoulder press, the seated barbell shoulder press, and the dumbbell one-arm shoulder press.
Barbell shoulder press video