How to Do Seated Barbell Overhead Press: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

Seated barbell overhead press exercise technique

Muscles Worked in the Seated Barbell Overhead Press

Muscles worked in seated barbell overhead press

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Do Seated Barbell Overhead Press

  1. Sit down on a bench with a raised backrest. The bench should be placed close to a rack, where a barbell rests at about shoulder height.
  2. Grip the bar with an overhand grip.
  3. Inhale, lightly brace your core, and unrack the bar. Lean back on the backrest.
  4. Press the bar up to straight arms, while exhaling.
  5. Inhale at the top, or while lowering the bar with control back to your shoulders.
  6. Repeat for reps.


The press is a classic upper-body exercise, and a staple when it comes to building up your shoulder. By sitting down, you reduce the need for core stabilization and can focus more on the actual pressing and primarily working muscles.

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