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Methods to Do the Seated Overhead Press: Muscle mass Labored, Type & Options


Overhead urgent is without doubt one of the simplest methods to construct your shoulders.

And whereas there are numerous overhead urgent workout routines to select from, one which positively deserves a spot in your program is the seated overhead press.

That’s as a result of it lets you raise heavy weights safely and progress commonly, which is significant for gaining muscle and energy.

On this article, you’ll study what the seated barbell overhead press is, why it’s helpful, which muscle groups it really works, find out how to do it with correct type, the very best seated overhead press alternate options, and extra.

What Is the Seated Overhead Press?

The seated overhead press is an upper-body train that includes urgent a barbell vertically over your head from a seated place.

It’s virtually an identical to the standing overhead press, the one distinction being you carry out the seated overhead press whereas sitting on a bench in the midst of a squat rack as an alternative of standing.

Seated vs. Standing Overhead Press: Which Is Higher?

The standing press outshines the seated variation with regards to full-body muscle engagement, coaching many of the muscle groups in your higher physique and plenty of extra in your decrease physique, too.

The seated press tops the standing variation in different areas, although: 

  1. It emphasizes the shoulder muscle groups extra.
  2. It permits the usage of barely heavier weights.
  3. It’s simpler to carry out appropriately.

In different phrases, they each have advantages, which is why it doesn’t make sense to assume when it comes to seated vs. standing overhead press. As an alternative, you’ll doubtless profit from together with each workout routines in your program.

A great way to do that is to incorporate the seated overhead press in your program for 8-to-10 weeks of coaching, take a deload, then exchange the seated overhead press with the standing overhead press for the next 8-to-10 weeks of coaching.

Then, you possibly can both proceed alternating between the workout routines each few months or persist with the one you like.

That is how I personally like to arrange my coaching, and it’s much like the tactic I advocate in my health books for women and men, Larger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

(And if you happen to’d like much more particular recommendation about how it’s best to manage your coaching to achieve your well being and health targets, take the Legion Power Coaching Quiz, and in lower than a minute, you’ll know the proper energy coaching program for you. Click on right here to test it out.)

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Seated Overhead Press: Advantages

Most individuals consider the seated barbell overhead press as a shoulder train.

Whereas it’s true that the seated overhead press trains all three heads of the deltoids to a excessive diploma, it additionally successfully trains a number of different main upper-body muscle teams, together with your again, abs, pecs, and arms.

It’s additionally properly suited to serving to you achieve muscle and energy as a result of:

  1. It’s a barbell train, so it lets you prepare with heavy weights, which is essential for getting stronger over time.
  2. It doesn’t require as a lot stability because the standing variation, so studying and performing it’s extra easy.
  3. It’s simple to arrange, so that you don’t must waste power or threat damage entering into place the best way you would possibly throughout the dumbbell overhead press.
  4. It lets you add weight in small increments, which is essential for long-term progress.

Furthermore, the seated overhead press lets you deal with 10-to-20% extra weight and progress sooner than the standing variation, which suggests it’s glorious for progressively overloading your shoulder muscle groups.

The one draw back in comparison with the standing press is that it doesn’t activate as a lot whole-body muscle, supplying you with barely much less muscle-building bang in your buck.

Seated Overhead Press: Muscle mass Labored

The principle muscle groups labored by the seated overhead press are the . . 

Right here’s how they give the impression of being in your physique:


Shoulder Press Muscles Worked


Seated Overhead Press: Type


Seated Barbell Overhead Press before after


One of the simplest ways to learn to do the seated overhead press is to separate the train into three elements: arrange, descend, and press.

Step 1: Set Up

Place an adjustable bench (set to the upright place) in the midst of a squat rack dealing with out of the rack. Sit within the seat, press your again towards the backrest, and attain your arms overhead. Pay attention to the peak of your wrists in relation to the rack—that is the peak it’s best to set the barbell on the hooks.

Alter the rack’s hooks to the specified peak, set the barbell within the hooks, and sit down. Plant your toes on the ground simply outdoors of shoulder-width along with your knees bent at 90 levels, and drive by your toes to push your self towards the backrest.

Grip the barbell as onerous as attainable along with your palms dealing with away from you and thumbs wrapped across the bar, barely wider than shoulder-width. Maintain the bar low in your palms, nearer to your wrists than your fingers. Bend your wrists simply sufficient to permit the bar to settle into the bottom of your palms, however not fold again at a 90-degree angle.

Right here‘s how your wrists ought to look:


Proper-Overhead-Press-Wrist-Position (1)


Take a deep breath into your abdomen, raise the bar off the hooks, and maintain it along with your arms straight, instantly above your head.

Step 2: Descend

Maintaining your elbows flared at round 45 levels relative to your torso, decrease the bar to the peak of your collarbone, taking care to maneuver your head backward because the bar nears the highest of your head.

Don’t let the barbell fall towards your torso or attempt to decrease it slowly—the complete descent must be managed however take lower than a second.

Step 3: Press

Whereas driving your toes into the ground and your again towards the backrest, push the bar towards the ceiling. As quickly because the bar passes your eyes, push your head and chest ahead and underneath the bar. Maintain pushing till your arms are straight and you come back to the beginning place.

Right here’s the way it ought to look if you put all of it collectively:


Seated Overhead Press gif


The Finest Seated Overhead Press Options

1. Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press


Dumbbell Shoulder Press before after


The seated overhead dumbbell press trains the shoulder, triceps, and higher chest equally to different overhead urgent workout routines. The principle advantages of the seated overhead dumbbell press are that it has an extended vary of movement than the barbell variation, which tends to be higher for muscle development, and it trains all sides of your physique independently, so it’s a very good train for locating and fixing muscle imbalances.

2. Machine Seated Overhead Press


Machine Seated Overhead Press


Usually talking, machines aren’t as efficient as free weights for gaining muscle and energy. Nonetheless, the machine seated overhead press is a viable possibility if you happen to’re working round an damage or wish to change up your coaching.

3. Arnold Press


Arnold Press


The Arnold press trains the shoulders in an analogous solution to the seated overhead press, however due to the best way you rotate your wrists within the Arnold press, you emphasize your aspect delts barely extra. That stated, you possibly can raise extra weight on the seated barbell overhead press than on the Arnold press, which doubtless makes the positive aspects from each workout routines roughly equal.



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