The overhead shoulder press is one of the best exercises to increase strength, muscle mass and stability in the shoulders. They are present in the workouts of all those who are seriously engaged in fitness and bodybuilding, as well as in the conditioning workouts of some athletes from other sports. Incorporating this exercise into your training program can not only help you build bigger and stronger shoulders, but also improve your bench press performance.

There are many varieties of this exercise. It can be performed from a standing position, from a sitting position, with dumbbells or with a barbell.

For example, when performing shoulder presses from a sitting position,  the movement is more strict and isolated, while if we perform it from a standing position, we can lift bigger weights, helping ourselves with a slight push from the legs.

When the movement is performed with a barbell, this also allows the use bigger weights, because we have more control over the weight, but this option slightly limits the amplitude of movement.

If you have suffered any trauma, shoulder injury or frequent pain in this area in the past, it is advisable to consult your trainer or physiotherapist before doing this exercise, as it may not be suitable for you.


Performing the overhead shoulder press:

  1. After a good warm-up of the shoulder joints, respectively from a standing position or from a sitting position, the barbell / dumbbells are taken with overhand grip and lowered in front of the face, shortly before touching the upper part of the chest.
  2. Then push the barbell / dumbbells vertically upwards until the arms are almost straight, but don’t lock the elbows.
  3. Lower your arms slowly, with constant weight control, and do the next repetition


Muscles involved:

– anterior deltoid

– lateral deltoid

– upper trapezius

– upper pectoralis major

– triceps brachii

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