Seated Barbell Shoulder Press

Ah, a free weight exercise that can be done sitting down. But don’t be fooled, the seated shoulder press is not the go-to exercise for would-be slackers. This is a serious exercise that brings real benefits; body builders use it to build massive shoulders and upper arms. Let’s look at the primary muscles it hits and just how it is done.

The deltoids

There are three deltoid heads that will thank you for making the seated shoulder press part of your bodybuilding regime. Even though the anterior deltoid gets most of the work, the medial, and the posterior deltoids are also included and get some of the action with this free weight exercise. The triceps also gets lot of work from this exercise.

How do you perform a shoulder press ?

1. You begin by sitting upright, with your back against a vertical bench. Your feet should be placed firmly on the floor. Your head, shoulders and buttocks should all be on the bench pad.

2. The bar should be placed so that it is level with your upper chest, roughly in line with your collarbone.

3. Grasp the bar firmly; your palms should be facing forward. Your grip should be slightly wider than the span of your shoulders.

4. Before making the lift, you should prepare your body for it, contracting your abdominal muscles.

5. Pick up the bar, keeping your shoulder blades down. Exhale slowly as you push the bar over your head, until your elbows are straight. Remember your posture; keep your lower back straight and be careful not to bend your wrists.

6. Inhale as you use the muscles in your back and arms to bring the bar down. Make sure to keep the bar well away from your face,

7. Repeat the motion as per your exercise plan.

Keep in mind

The seated shoulder press is an intense free weight exercise; you will not have the strength in your legs to help manage the weight. It is for this reason that exercisers will often use a spotter for this exercise. A spotter is simply another person who is standing behind you, waiting to give you a little help to get the weight up or back down, if you need it — lessening risk of injury. Your bench and spotter awaits.

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