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How to Do the Overhead Shoulder Press for an Arm Workout

Learn how to do the overhead shoulder press from personal trainer Brett Azar in this Howcast home arm workout for men video.


OK. So today we're going to go over a seated overhead shoulder press using a barbell.

Now, there's many different ways of using this. Normally you'll see guys in a rack where the barbell is all ready stationed behind them so that they can just pick it up and do the exercise. I'm going to be doing this in free form. This exercise, being that it's overhead is more dangerous and being that it's a shoulder exercise can be very dangerous because with a shoulder exercise you want to be very careful with rotator cuff injuries, etc. Now this exercise is a shoulder press so it's going to work all three parts of your shoulder. Your shoulder has a front, a side and a rear.

Also secondary muscle that you're going to work is your tricep. Any time you're going to be pushing is when you're going to be working your tricep. Triceps are very important for having that big arm look. It's not just about the bicep. So with this exercise, it's preferred because it's an overhead exercise that you have a spotter. Someone who's going to guide you or be there in case you get into trouble. Now, you could do this with a straight bar, with an easy bar. As long as you feel comfortable doing it and as long as you have a spotter that's there to help you, it'll be OK.

With this exercise, you're going to start so that it's in front of you, not behind you. You're going to keep it right at chin level and you're going to push up to the sky, right up. OK? When you come up, you're not locking up your elbows because that could do damage to the joint. Keep a soft elbow. Come down, make sure not to hit yourself in the face, and return back up. Anytime you're working against gravity, you want to breathe out. So this is with and against, breath out. Squeeze those shoulders, squeeze that tricep, return slowly and control. Don't try to get out of control with this because it's a very dangerous exercise.

Again, you won't get anything out of it if you're not using the full benefit of your range of motion. As you come down, this is probably more important than getting the weight up. Controlling that negative. You get more out of it strength and size-wise.

Also, you want to keep your core nice and tight. Feet firm on the ground. The last thing you want to do is lose balance with something that is overhead because you could injure yourself or, if there's somebody else which could be even worse in your case. So again, breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

And that's a seated overhead barbell press.

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