Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
Primary Muscle Group: Deltoids
Secondary Muscle Group: Traps, Triceps
Equipment Needed: Barbell, Weight Plates
The Benefits of Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
The Standing Barbell Shoulder Press, also known as the ‘Military Press’, is a compound movement used to build size and strength in the shoulders (Deltoids). The Standing Barbell Shoulder Press can be trained as a strength lift or in traditional muscle-building rep ranges as part of full-body, shoulder-focused, or upper-body training.
Some of the key benefits of the Standing Barbell Shoulder Press are;
Excellent shoulder builder and overall strength builder.
Builds upper-body strength for other movements.
Encourages healthy shoulder mobility.
Triceps, core, upper back, and legs help move and stabilize the barbell.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
Low back strain should be mentioned here because of the tendency to lean back with heavier loads during the standing press.
As a result of improper technique it is possible to strain your lower back. When pressing heavy weights, you tend to lean backwards and arch your back slightly (a little arch is acceptable) which can put too much strain on the lower region of your back. This will result in an injury and happen pretty easily if you are not careful.
Keep your abdominals tight to support your back and some lifters like to use a weight lifting belt belt to help support the lower back. So before giving standing barbell shoulder press a go, here's exactly how to do them without risking pain or injury.
How To Do Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
1. Stand with the bar on your front shoulders. Narrow grip, straight wrists, vertical forearms. Lock your knees and hips.
2. Raise your chest towards the ceiling by arching your upper-back. Try to touch your chin with your upper-chest.
3. Take a big breath, hold it and press the bar in a vertical line. Don’t press it in front or behind your head. Press it over your head.
4. Stay close to the bar while you press the weight up. Shift your torso forward once the bar has passed your forehead.
5. Hold the bar over your shoulders and mid-foot for proper balance. Lock your elbows. Shrug your shoulders to the ceiling and return the bar back to the starting position.
For Perfect Technique
To avoid shoulder pain, Overhead Press with a narrow grip so you don’t flare your elbows. Then shrug your shoulders at the top. Press the bar over your head, lock your elbows and shrug your shoulders towards the ceiling. This engages your traps and prevents shoulder impingement.
Once you have mastered the Standing Barbell Shoulder Press you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Arnold Shoulder Press
1. Set up an adjustable angle bench to 90 degrees.
2. Pick up the dumbbells from the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in). Position the end of the dumbbells on your knees and sit down on the bench.
3. Using a safe and controlled motion, kick your knees up one at a time in order to get each dumbbell into place.
4. Once the dumbbells are in place, rotate your palms so they are facing you.
5. Inhale and then press the dumbbells overhead by extending the elbows and contracting the deltoids.
6. As you press, rotate the dumbbells until your palms are facing forward.
7. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position (the arms should be roughly 90 degrees or slightly lower depending upon limb lengths).
How To Do Lateral Cable Raise
1. Stand beside a cable machine. Assume a shoulder width stance; tighten your core and keep a flat back all throughout the movement.
2. Grab the handle of a pulley cable and raise it sideways. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows and bring the handle up to shoulder level.
3. Hold the position for a second at the top.
4. Resist the weight on the way back to starting position.
5. Once you have done the targeted number of reps on one side, switch and work the other shoulder.
6. Perform the exact same number of reps on the other shoulder.