Standing Shoulder Press with Barbell

The Standing Shoulder Press with a Barbell is a compound exercise that primarily targets the shoulders, specifically the deltoid muscles. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to perform the exercise correctly:

Video Instructions On How To Do A Standing Shoulder Press with Barbell

Muscles worked:

  • Primary: Deltoids (shoulders)
  • Secondary: Triceps, Trapezius, Serratus anterior, Upper back muscles

Equipment needed:

  • Barbell
  • Weight plates

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Set up:
    • Place a barbell on a squat rack at about chest height.
    • Load the barbell with an appropriate weight. Start with a lighter weight to ensure proper form and gradually increase as needed.
    • Stand facing the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grip:
    • Reach for the bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Your palms should be facing forward.
  3. Positioning:
    • Duck under the bar and position it across the front of your shoulders, resting on your upper chest and anterior deltoids.
    • Your elbows should be directly below your wrists, and your upper arms should be parallel to the ground.
  4. Stance:
    • Plant your feet firmly on the ground, maintaining a stable base. Your feet can be either directly under your hips or slightly staggered.
  5. Posture:
    • Keep your chest up, shoulders back, and maintain a natural arch in your lower back.
    • Engage your core for stability.
  6. Execution:
    • Inhale and brace your core.
    • Press the barbell overhead by extending your arms fully. The bar should move in a straight vertical line.
  7. Lockout:
    • At the top of the movement, fully extend your arms without locking your elbows. Keep your head in a neutral position.
  8. Descent:
    • Lower the barbell back down under control to the starting position, just above your upper chest.
  9. Repetition:
    • Perform the desired number of repetitions. Start with a weight that allows you to maintain proper form.
  10. Breathing:
    • Exhale as you press the barbell overhead, and inhale as you lower it back down.


  • Use a controlled and smooth motion throughout the exercise.
  • Avoid arching your back excessively or using momentum to lift the weight.
  • If you’re new to this exercise, consider having a spotter to assist you, especially with heavier weights.

Safety precautions:

  • Start with a light weight to practice the movement before adding more resistance.
  • If you experience pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and reassess your form.

Always consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or concerns.