Standing wide-grip barbell overhead press exercise

Standing wide-grip barbell overhead press

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Anterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Upper Pectoralis Major, Triceps Brachii, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Unrack the bar, holding the barbell at chest height using an overhand grip. Position your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.


  1. Exhale as you push the barbell straight upward.
  2. Shrug your shoulders at the top of the movement to raise the barbell even higher.
  3. Inhale as you reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Use the standing wide-grip barbell overhead press to emphasize the anterior deltoid, upper pectoralis major and lateral deltoid muscles. Use of the triceps brachii is reduced due to the wide grip.
  • Performing the barbell overhead press in a standing position requires more balance compared to performing it seated on a bench. For this reason, stabilizer muscles in the core are more involved in this exercise compared to the seated barbell shoulder press.
  • Do not arch your back. Keep your back neutral.
  • Keep your head facing forward; do not look up. You can tilt your head backwards to keep it out of the way as the bar ascends or descends.
  • Keep your elbows a little forward, not directly out to the sides. Flaring out your elbows will reduce the leverage from which you can push from.
  • See also the barbell front squat to overhead press, the seated dumbbell overhead press, the Smith machine seated overhead press, and the Smith machine shoulder press.

Standing wide-grip barbell overhead press video

Sources, Shoulder Articulations

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