Barbell Standing Bradford Press

Barbell Standing Bradford Press

The Barbell Standing Bradford Press is a dynamic upper body exercise that primarily targets the shoulders, while also engaging the muscles of the arms and upper back. This compound movement is a variation of the traditional overhead press and is named after Olympic weightlifting champion, Jim Bradford. It adds an extra element of difficulty and coordination to the exercise, making it a great choice for those looking to challenge their shoulder strength and stability. To perform the Barbell Standing Bradford Press, you'll need a barbell and a shoulder-width grip. Start by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and the barbell resting on your upper chest, with your palms facing forward. From this starting position, explosively press the barbell overhead by fully extending your arms and driving through your legs for added power. While the barbell is overhead, quickly rotate your wrists so that your palms are now facing towards you. The unique twist of the wrists during the Barbell Standing Bradford Press not only targets the deltoids and triceps but also engages the rotator cuff muscles. This exercise requires proper form and control to prevent injury and maximize its effectiveness. It's important to maintain a neutral spine, engage your core muscles, and avoid excessive arching or leaning back during the movement. To add the Barbell Standing Bradford Press to your workout routine, aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions, using a challenging but manageable weight. As with any exercise, always warm up before attempting heavier weights and listen to your body. If you have any shoulder or upper body injuries, it's best to consult with a professional before incorporating this exercise into your routine. Remember to prioritize proper form, maintain control throughout the movement, and always challenge yourself safely and effectively. The Barbell Standing Bradford Press is a fantastic exercise choice to build shoulder strength, stability, and overall upper body power. Happy lifting!


  • Start by placing a barbell on a squat rack at chest height.
  • Step under the bar and place it across the front of your shoulders, grasping it with a pronated grip slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Take a step back from the rack and position your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Engage your core and maintain a tall posture throughout the exercise.
  • Begin the movement by pressing the barbell overhead, fully extending your arms while keeping your core tight.
  • Once your arms are fully extended, pause briefly at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the barbell back down to the starting position with control, bending your elbows and returning the barbell to the front of your shoulders.
  • Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
  • Ensure proper breathing throughout the exercise, inhaling during the lowering phase and exhaling during the pressing phase.

Tips & Tricks

  • Maintain proper form and technique throughout the exercise.
  • Engage your core muscles by bracing them during the movement.
  • Use a weight that challenges you but allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions with good form.
  • Focus on a controlled and smooth movement, avoiding any jerking or swinging.
  • Perform the exercise in front of a mirror to ensure your posture and alignment are correct.
  • Breathe out as you press the barbell upward and breathe in as you lower it back down.
  • Gradually increase the weight over time to continually challenge your muscles.
  • Allow for adequate rest and recovery between sets and workouts to prevent overtraining.
  • Warm up properly before starting the exercise to increase blood flow and prepare your muscles for the movement.
  • Consult with a qualified fitness professional to ensure you are performing the exercise correctly and safely.


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