The primary muscles stressed in this movement are the shoulder muscles (anterior and medial deltoid). The secondary muscles stressed are the triceps and trapezius.

Starting Position

Sit straight up and down with your back flat against the back support. Grip the bar at the assigned position and lift it up until your arms are extended straight over your head.


Take two to three seconds to lower the bar down in front of your head until it is level with your mouth/chin. Press the bar back up to the extended position over your head.

Training Tips

  • Focus on your shoulders pressing the bar so your triceps don’t perform most of the work.
  • When performing a shoulder pressing movement with heavy weight, be sure to sit in a seat with a back support. This will help give the necessary support needed for your back.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor to help balance your body.


You can vary the position of your grip on the bar to stress different areas of the shoulder (wide and medium grip).

Warning Tips

  • Do not over extend your shoulders when raising the bar up to the extended position. Failure to do so can result in serious injury to your shoulders.
  • Do not excessively arch your back when performing this movement. Failure to do so can result in serious injury to your back.
  • Do not lower the bar any faster than two to three seconds when performing this movement. You must be in control at all times during this movement. The faster you perform this movement, the less control you will have, which in turn will increase your risk of injury.


Robert Bovee Certified Master PPT, RTS, ETS, FTS

As one of the most successful Professional Personal Trainers and Exercise/Fitness Therapists in the United States, Robert continues to remain at the forefront of the industry by providing his clients with a thorough education and the tools to implement that education. By improving his client’s physical health, strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness and nutritional habits, he is able to motivate them to lead longer, happier and more productive lives. Find out more about Robert and his personal training career and services, here.


Guest Author

Guest authors offer experience and educational insights based on their specific area of expertise. These authors are contributing writers for the NFPT blog because they have valuable information to share with NFPT-CPTs and the fitness community at-large. If you are interested in contributing to the NFPT blog as a guest, please send us a note expressing your interest and tell us how you can contribute valuable insights to our readers. We look forward to hearing from you! Send to editor@nfpt.com