Barbell Seated Overhead Press

Barbell Seated Overhead Press

The Barbell Seated Overhead Press is a compound exercise that primarily targets the shoulders, but also engages the triceps, upper back, and core muscles. It involves pressing a barbell from a seated position overhead, making it a great exercise for building overall upper body strength and stability. This exercise is performed by sitting on a bench or a chair with proper back support, feet planted firmly on the ground. The barbell is held at shoulder height with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. From here, engage your core and press the barbell overhead until your arms are fully extended. Lower the barbell back down to shoulder height, maintaining control and stability throughout the movement. The Barbell Seated Overhead Press is an excellent choice for both beginners and advanced lifters looking to develop strong and defined shoulders. By working the deltoids and stabilizing muscles, it helps improve shoulder strength and mobility, which can enhance performance in various upper body movements like pushing and pulling. Additionally, it can contribute to better posture and overall upper body aesthetics. To ensure safety and maximize results, it's essential to maintain proper form throughout the exercise. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as you become more comfortable and confident with the movement. Remember to warm-up adequately and incorporate this exercise within a well-rounded strength training routine for optimal benefits.


  • Start by sitting on a bench with a backrest and grab a barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and press your back firmly against the backrest.
  • Take a deep breath, brace your core, and push the barbell overhead until your arms are fully extended.
  • Lower the barbell slowly back to the starting position, keeping your elbows slightly in front of the barbell throughout the movement.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Maintain proper form and posture throughout the exercise.
  • Engage your core to stabilize your body during the movement.
  • Start with a weight that you can handle comfortably and gradually increase it as you progress.
  • Control the movement on both the way up and the way down to maximize muscle engagement.
  • Ensure that the barbell is positioned directly above your head at the top of the movement.
  • Exhale as you press the weight overhead and inhale as you lower it back down.
  • Add variety to your routine by incorporating different grip widths and hand positions.
  • Don't arch your back or use jerking motions to lift the weight, as this can lead to injuries.
  • Consider performing the exercise seated on a bench with back support if you have lower back issues.
  • Allow for adequate rest and recovery between sets to prevent overexertion and muscle fatigue.


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