The Seated Shoulder Press

The seated shoulder press is one of the best exercises for developing the front deltoids of the shoulder. It can be performed with dumbbells or a barbell. The barbell variety is also known as a seated military press.

To perform with a barbell, sit in a seated position – preferably with your back resting on an upright back rest to provide stability. Now, get under the bar, with hands placed slightly wider than shoulder width, forearms pointing straight up and straight under the bar, un-rack the bar and let it run across the front of your collar bone.

Now, press the bar directly up and lock out above your head, before lowering slowly back in front of you, bringing it to a stop once again on your collar bone.

If you wish to perform this exercise using dumbbells you have two basic styles to choose from. You can go from start to finish holding the dumbbells with wrists pointing forward, precisely as if you were holding a barbell, or you can angle the wrists inwards slightly, twisting to point them forward at the top of the movement, before reversing the twist again. It’s more about personal preference than anything, and you may like to give both styles a try.

The difference between barbell and dumbbells in this exercise is, when using dumbbells you can lower them further, giving a greater range of motion. Also, you can hold them in a position more natural to you. Plus you need to coordinate two separate weights which has it’s benefits. However, by performing this lift with a barbell you will have more stability and will be able to lift more weight.

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