seated shoulder press

Bodybuilders and gym goers are in search of a complete aesthetic. Lean athletic legs, a trim waist, strong back and strong powerful shoulders make up a classic physique many set out to obtain. The seated shoulder press is one of the perfect exercises for increasing strength and mass in the shoulder girdle. It is a great compound exercise that helps to build control in core and stabilizer muscles. We’ve explained what muscles are worked and why you might want to add this to your routine. As well as some steps on how to get lifting. Check it out.

shoulder press handstand pushups

What Muscles Are Worked With Seated Shoulder Press

In order to understand what muscles are worked during a seated shoulder press we must know what muscles make up the shoulder. Including some basic functionality. Consisting of eight muscles that attach to the scapula, humerus, and clavicle, the shoulder helps with a variety of movements. It also protects the glenohumeral joint which is the main shoulder joint.

The muscles run from the outer portion of the shoulder and under the arm. The largest of them being the deltoid, which completely covers the glenohumeral joint; giving it that round shape. The rest of the shoulder muscles go across the top of the shoulder from the clavicle into the scapula and back down toward the humerus bone.

Different muscles are responsible for different actions. An important function of the deltoid is to prevent dislocation of the joint. Stabilizing the shoulder and holding the head of the humerus in place making up the main shoulder joint is the rotator cuff.

The shoulder is aided by all the muscles in the upper body. Each assisting with different functions. When training with a seated shoulder press these muscles can help raise and lower the upper arm,  straighten the arm, rotate the upper arm, forearm and flex the elbow or even move the arm away and closer to the body. Therefore the shoulder is a complicated muscle group that works with several other muscle groups making this an excellent compound exercise.

Shoulder injury is very common. Due to the amount of movements the shoulder aids and is responsible for it is prone to more injury. The most common cause is overexertion. Twisting, pulling, or falling are typical ways injury arises. Including repeated patterns that primarily affect the deep muscles. Keep in mind that the body does experience soreness from training as well. Pulled muscles from heavy lifting or overexertion usually subsides in a few days.

Why Train Shoulders With A Seated Shoulder Press

Bodybuilders search for a complete look. They want to shape each and every muscle perfectly and proportionally to their frame or aesthetic. Whether you're a natural or enhanced athlete it’s likely you’ll have some shoulder development to do. Training with a seated shoulder press will build your shoulders, turning them into boulders and shaping your physique along the way.

A seated shoulder press is a compound exercise that recruits a large group of stabiliser muscles and muscles to assist in the recruitment of muscle fibres required to move the shoulder through its complete range of motion. These additional muscle recruitment requires mindfulness and control over systems in the body, such as breathing and breath control. Proper contraction, posture and breath allow for the maximum recruitment of muscle fibers and energy expenditure to increase upper body strength and add mass to lacking shoulders.

shoulder muscles

The seated shoulder press is great for a base in your upper body routine of a staple on shoulder days. I like to keep some variation either seated or standing. From there I tend to focus on some form of isolation work like rear delts since my front and side never had an issue growing. Movement was always key in my shoulder training and I would always try to do some form of an overhead press or rotational movement to improve.

How To Perform A Seated Shoulder Press

Now that you know more about the muscles worked and why to add the seated shoulder press to your routine let’s get to it. Before beginning any workout routine or exercise program always perform a fitness assessment. It’s recommended to consult a physician during this process to make sure you're fit and clear for exercise.

To perform the seated shoulder press begin by selecting a barbell. Find a bench or squat rack with a bench for safety. Be sure to make any necessary adjustment to the bench to where it is comfortable for you. When doing this exercise, different seating positions can create different effects. The focus of this particular form will be on the upper chest and shoulder area, or shoulder girdle.

Now that your seat is set, you’re ready to begin the seated shoulder press.

Grasp the barbell about shoulder width apart. Take a deep breath and make sure your body is in position. Remove the barbell from the pins and begin to slowly lower it to your clavicle. Keeping your elbows locked and acting as a guide.

While performing the seated shoulder press be sure to focus on the areas that you are trying to build. If you like to hit the top part of the chest more, try moving the elbows forward and at about a thirty-five degree angle. Wider positions will allow for a more deltoid dominant movement.

Once the barbell has reached your clavicle, contract your muscles and return the bar to the starting position. Take a deep breath and repeat.

One Last Press

The seated shoulder press is one of the best compound exercises for building mass as well as serious strength in the upper body. It’s a critical movement that benefits a lot of other movements and proper shoulder health is key. Through mindfulness and control the body can be enhanced to work in such manners. Training the body trains the mind. Keep training! If you're doing this exercise try the standing version.

About the author, Steve Hall

Steve is a strength training fanatic who geeks out over the best, most efficient workouts, nutrition and gear to help get you stronger and healthier!