Sit with the back straight and hold the bar with an overhand grip, resting it across the upper chest:
- Inhale and extend the bar vertically.
- Exhale at the end of the movement.
This fundamental exercise mainly uses the anterior and lateral deltoids, clavicular head of the pectoralis major, triceps brachii, serratus anterior, trapezius and, deeper in, the supraspinatus.
You can also perform this exercise standing, as long as you keep the back straight, avoiding excessive curvature of the lumbar spine. Extending the barbell with the elbows forward isolates the anterior deltoid.
Extending the bar with the elbows spread apart isolates the middle deltoid.
You can use various machines for this exercise.
- Dumbbell Seated Front Press – Performed with dumbbells instead of a barbell, this variation allows for a greater range of motion and increased activation of stabilizing muscles.
- Seated Arnold Press – Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, this variation involves rotating the hands as you press the weight overhead, hitting the front, middle, and rear deltoids.
- Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise & Press – This exercise combines a lateral raise with a front press, targeting the lateral and front deltoids.
- Seated Smith Machine Press – This variation uses a Smith machine for stability and can be used to progress to heavier weight.