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Seated Overhead Press

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

The Seated Overhead Press is one of the most effective movements to increase the size and strength of your shoulders.

By using two separate dumbbells and a seat, your muscles get 2 additional challenges throughout the exercise: The weaker shoulder gets a better workout since it doesn’t have the stronger side to compensate for it. And, since your core muscles and lower back are supported by the seat beneath them, you can add heavier weights than you would be able to if you were only standing up.

How to do a Seated Overhead Press

Select two equal dumbbells and sit down lengthways on a weight bench. You can also use a chair if you want more support for your back. Don’t use too heavy a dumbbell- you want to be able to lift and press the weights for about 10 reps over your head. Keep your posture erect and your head facing forward.

Grasp the dumbbells and with your palms facing out, bring them up to about the height of your ears. Your elbows should be bent at right angles and your upper arms spread out horizontally to the floor so your body is making a “T” shape.

Now using your shoulder muscles, push your arms upwards so they are extended all the way above your head and the two dumbbells almost touch at the top. Pause for a second and then lower your arms back down to a T shape. This completes one Press.

Tips for Seated Overhead Press

Do not let your elbows drop below the height of your shoulders and keep your back upright and braced through the entire movement.

Seated Overhead Press Video Demonstration


Joel Runyon

Joel Runyon