Seated barbell shoulder press
- Target muscle: Anterior Deltoid
- Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Triceps Brachii, Supraspinatus, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior
- Mechanics: Compound
- Force: Push
Sit up straight on a bench, holding a barbell at chest height with a pronated (overhand) grip. Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder width apart.
- 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.
- Move your head out of the way of the bar by rocking your body slightly forward as the bar ascends and slightly backward as the bar descends.
- Keep your back straight and head facing forward; don’t look up.
- Contract your core to stabilize your torso.
- Keep your elbows a little forward, not directly out to the sides.
- Overhead presses are great for building functional upper-body strength. The seated barbell shoulder press variation takes your legs out of the equation, which better isolates your shoulders and reduces your potential to cheat.
- If lifting very heavy, use a bench with a back support and rack. The angle of the back support should be a little less than vertical.
- See also the standing wide-grip barbell overhead press.