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Barbell Standing Shoulders Press

Barbell Standing Shoulders Press

The Barbell Standing Shoulder Press is a powerful exercise that primarily targets the muscles in your shoulders, but also engages various other muscles in the body. This compound movement helps in building upper body strength and stability, as well as improving overall muscular development. To perform the Barbell Standing Shoulder Press, you start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasping a barbell with an overhand grip, with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Make sure your wrists are in a neutral position and the barbell rests on the front of your shoulders. Engage your core muscles and keep your back straight as you exhale, slowly pressing the barbell directly overhead, fully extending your arms without locking your elbows. Keep your head neutral and your shoulder blades pulled back throughout the movement. It's important to maintain proper form and avoid leaning back excessively or using momentum to lift the weight. Control the movement as you inhale and lower the barbell back to the starting position, just above your shoulders. To maximize the effectiveness of this exercise, start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as you develop strength and confidence. Remember to warm up adequately before attempting heavy weight and focus on maintaining correct form throughout the movement. When done correctly and with proper progression, the Barbell Standing Shoulder Press can help you build strong, well-defined shoulders, enhance upper body function, and improve overall athletic performance. It's a valuable addition to any comprehensive strength training routine.


  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Hold a barbell with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width, resting the barbell on your upper chest and shoulders.
  • Keep your elbows slightly in front of the barbell, pointing forward.
  • Press the barbell upward by extending your arms, making sure to keep your core engaged and your back straight.
  • As you lift the barbell, exhale and fully extend your arms without locking your elbows.
  • Pause for a moment at the top and then slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Maintain proper form throughout the exercise to avoid injury.
  • Engage your core and keep your back straight during the movement.
  • Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load to avoid excessive strain on your shoulders.
  • Breathe properly by inhaling before lowering the barbell and exhaling when pressing it overhead.
  • Avoid using momentum or swinging to lift the weight; focus on controlled and smooth movements.
  • Incorporate variations like seated shoulder press or Arnold press to target different muscle groups.
  • Ensure your grip is secure and the barbell is positioned comfortably on your shoulders.
  • Rest adequately between sets to allow your muscles to recover and prevent fatigue-related injuries.
  • Pay attention to the alignment of your elbows and hands to avoid unnecessary strain on your joints.
  • Consult with a fitness professional to ensure you are using proper technique and form.

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