Watch the video below to see a demonstration of proper form and technique for the barbell shoulder press exercise. You can also check out some more shoulder exercise videos or find exercises for other muscle groups.

Instructions for Barbell Shoulder Press

To perform a set of barbell shoulder press:

  1. Starting Position

    Sit upright on a bench with a barbell racked above and behind your head. Hold the barbell with a pronated grip at shoulder width plus one fist length apart. Gripping the barbell tightly, extend your elbows to un-rack the barbell and bring it overhead. Your trunk should be in a neutral position.

  2. Eccentric (Lowering) Motion

    Lower the weight under control until the bar is at shoulder height. Your elbows should remain close to your body during the descent. It is important that you pull your head back as the bar gets to your forehead to let the bar move in the straightest path possible and not contact your head.

  3. Bottom Position

    Pause at the bottom position for a 1 sec count while maintaining tension and a tight grip on the bar.

  4. Concentric (Upward) Motion

    With your head pulled back, drive the bar upward until your arms are fully extended. Your elbows should remain close to your body. As soon as the bar is above your forehead, bring your head back to a neutral position and directly below the bar. Remember to breathe normally throughout the enitre movement.

  5. End position

    Repeat steps 1 through 4 until you have completed the desired number of barbell shoulder press repetitions before resting.

This completes one set of barbell shoulder press.