The Barbell Shoulder Press Exercise: Get Your Shoulders in Shape

The Barbell Shoulder Press Exercise
Barbell Shoulder Press

The Barbell Shoulder Press is one of the most popular exercises in the gym. If you’re looking to build strong and well-defined shoulders, then this exercise is perfect for you.

However, this exercise can be tricky, and if you’re not careful, you could end up injuring yourself or looking a little silly in the gym.

In this article, we’ll go over the benefits of the Barbell Shoulder Press, the body parts it impacts, the equipment you need, steps to follow, mistakes to avoid, and more.

Benefits of the Barbell Shoulder Press

The Barbell Shoulder Press is a compound exercise that targets several muscle groups, including the deltoids, triceps, and upper chest. By performing this exercise regularly, you can develop strong and defined shoulders, improve your posture, and increase your overall upper body strength.

Additionally, the Barbell Shoulder Press is a functional exercise that mimics everyday movements such as lifting groceries or carrying a heavy bag.

What Body Parts are Impacted by the Barbell Shoulder Press?

The Barbell Shoulder Press primarily targets the deltoid muscles, which are responsible for lifting your arms up and away from your body. This exercise also works your triceps, which are located at the back of your arms and help to extend your elbows.

Lastly, the Barbell Shoulder Press also engages your upper chest muscles, helping you develop a well-rounded upper body.

Equipment You Need to do the Seated Barbell Shoulder Press

To perform the Barbell Shoulder Press while sitting, you’ll need a barbell and a set of weights. You can also use a squat rack or a power rack to help you with the lift-off and to support the weight. Additionally, you’ll need a comfortable gym bench or chair to sit on.

Steps for Doing the Barbell Shoulder Press While Sitting

Step 1: Begin by sitting on a bench or chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground, hip-width apart. Your back should be straight, and your core should be engaged to maintain stability throughout the exercise.

Step 2: Next, approach the barbell and grab it with an overhand grip, using both hands to hold the bar with equal distance from each other. Then, carefully lift the barbell up onto your shoulders, positioning it securely just above your upper chest area.

Make sure that your grip is firm and your wrists are straight to prevent injury.

Step 3: As you prepare to lift the barbell overhead, ensure that your core is fully engaged, and your chest is lifted. Push the barbell up towards the ceiling, extending your arms fully. During this motion, maintain a controlled pace, and keep your elbows straight without locking them.

Step 4: Lower the barbell back down to your shoulders, moving it in a controlled manner. Keep your elbows close to your body throughout the movement and avoid allowing them to flare out.

Your chest and core should remain engaged to keep your body stable.

Step 5: Repeat the Barbell Shoulder Press for the desired number of repetitions, ensuring that you maintain proper form throughout each set. Keep your breathing controlled, inhaling as you lower the barbell and exhaling as you push it up toward the ceiling.

Once you have completed your desired number of reps, carefully return the barbell to the rack, and take a moment to stretch your shoulders to prevent stiffness and soreness.

Here is a video showing how to complete the exercise.

Mistakes to Avoid while doing the Barbell Shoulder Press

Using too much weight: It’s important to start with a weight that you can handle comfortably. Lifting too much weight can lead to injury and may cause you to compromise your form.

Arching your back: To avoid straining your lower back, keep your core engaged throughout the exercise and avoid arching your back.

Leaning forward: Leaning forward can put unnecessary strain on your shoulders and back. Instead, keep your chest lifted and your shoulders back and down.

Rounding your shoulders: Rounded shoulders can lead to poor posture and may cause shoulder pain. Keep your shoulders back and down throughout the exercise.

Lifting your heels: Lifting your heels can cause instability and may lead to injury. Keep your feet flat on the ground throughout the exercise.


The Barbell Shoulder Press is a great exercise for building strong and well-defined shoulders. However, it’s important to perform this exercise correctly to avoid injury and maximize its benefits.

By following the steps outlined in this article and avoiding common mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals.

So grab a barbell, load up some weights, and get pressing! But don’t forget to have fun. After all, fitness is about progress, not perfection!

Check out the barbell shrug exercise for more exercises to strengthen your shoulders.

2 thoughts on “The Barbell Shoulder Press Exercise: Get Your Shoulders in Shape”

  1. Pingback: The Deadlift Barbell Lift: A Guide For Expert Execution - The Go To Website For Fitness Learning

  2. Pingback: The Bent-Arm Wall Stretch: Unlock Your Body's Potential - The Go To Website For Fitness Learning

Comments are closed.