Shoulder Press, Sit or Stand?

When doing the free weight shoulder press, which is better and which is safer: sitting or standing?

I would think that it'd be easier to keep proper form while sitting.

I believe that standing is almost always the better
choice for those training for sports.


Taku = right.


I do them standing.

Standing is also best for your spine


Are there any specific things you have to worry about doing when doing it standing. I have never seen it done this way, only sitting. What or why is standing better?

Seated presses are more suited to bodybuilding, as they turn a very useful compound movement into somewhat of an isolation exercise.

Standing presses are mcuh more practical. Where in everyday life or in sports is a person going to need to sit down and push 200+ pounds over their head?

Standing presses have many variants with great carryover to many sports, including mma. One worthy of mention is the push-jerk, which is the final component of the clean-and-jerk. It builds explosiveness and strength in the upper AND lower body, as well as increasing 3-dimensional awareness and supporting muscle groups such as the entire torso and hip.

When doing standing presses, take care not to excessively arch your middle back. Maintain lumbar lourdosis, and build up weight gradually. Look forward or slightly upward, and never look down.

After a few weeks of doing them seated, my shoulders and upper back began to get sore. Standing, problems went away and they feel more "fullfilling" when I'm lifting.

standing is better, but sitting is safer (especially if you have a weak back)

I always like barbell pressing w/ heavier weights standing. Higher-repetition dumbbell pressing, I liked sitting down.. Haven't been doing much overhead work lately though.

I'd say everyone is right though.. you should be spending more time standing.

Standing is better. If you are using a dumbbell or kettlebell you can sit on the floor and spread your legs out. Just avoid any back support to take the focus off of you spine. another killer exercise is the sots press. Go into a full squat and press a barbell or dumbbell from the bottom position.

Mike Mahler

Standing teaches you to stabilize and support your body, as
you would when lifting an opponent for a slam, etc.

"Opponents don't come with 1" knurled handles and you
don't fight very often on a padded bench." Get real.



Standing is better for sports, but seated presses make it difficult to cheat (e.g. using body english to get the weight up) and thus are very effective at developing shoulder and tricep strength. Do both (not necessarily in the same session). Standing presses are more of a total body exercise and seated presses are great for the development of the pressing muscles (anterior delts, triceps). There is no need to limit yourself to one exercise just because it has more benefits than another. You have the option of doing both so do both.

Standing is alot better for athletes because its more practical but i have lower back problems and find that sitting is better for me. If i do them standing i use lighter weight with a alot of reps

Standing Presses are much safer for the spine (with proper form of course). When doing seated presses, you cannot keep the natural curve in your spine. When doing seated presses you are not only putting your spine in an unnatural postion, you are also adding extra stress due to the weights you are holding. Standing also allows the body to make proper adjustments to keep your balance and form correct.

with the press, should your elbows be straight ahead or at an angle from the body? Does the angle isolate different muscles?