Seated Front Barbell Press

seated front barbell press
Exercise Profile

Primary Muscle Group(s): Shoulders (Front)

Secondary Muscle Group(s): Trapezius and Triceps

Exercise Instructions

1. Sitting down on a bench with back support and special supports. Press your back firmly against the padding for support.

2. Grasp a barbell with your hands spaced a little wider than shoulder width. Keep your back and head straight with your feet firmly planted on the floor.

3. Take the weight off the rack and press the bar directly over your head in a vertical line. If the upright racks are above your head, simply grasp the bar with both hand and un rack the weight.

4. Slowly lower the bar to just below chin level.

5. Push the bar back up without bounding the weight. Remember to keep the back straight and flat (no arching) Repeat the movement.


The front shoulder press is a pure and simple mass builder for the shoulders. This exercise has been one of my staple exercises since I started weight training and I simply love doing them. Personally, this exercise feels more natural than the press behind the neck and I feel I can generate more power because my lower body feels much more stable.

The primary muscle groups for this exercise are the front deltoids (shoulders) while the triceps are strong secondary muscles as well as the trapezius muscles.

To get the most from this exercise, it's important that you control the weight throughout the entire movement. I will usually lower the weight until it is just at chin level and press back up. I will also keep my elbows from locking out since this will help keep constant tension on my shoulders and triceps.

Remember, keep your back straight and try to avoid using your upper chest for added momentum. Keep your head level and look straight ahead. Plant your feet firmly on the ground. Here's a little tip: When you are on your last sets, just before you un rack the weight, squeeze the bar really hard with both hands. This will help generate a little more power.

Press play to view an instructional video on how to properly perform the seated barbell press.

The latest news from Building Muscle 101

Delicious easy to make power oatmeal recipe!

As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

Home > Exercise Database > Shoulder Exercises