The Seated Overhead Press Will Give You Some Crazy Upper Body Strength


Torn between watching Netflix and working out? I get it. But what if I told you there was a move you could do to tone your arms, abs, shoulders, and back while sitting down?

It’s called the seated overhead press. It’s kind of similar to a military shoulder press, but instead of using your bodyweight as resistance, you’ll use a set of dumbbells to double down on the muscle gains.

Sounds good? I’ll break down how to do a seated overhead press with step-by-step instructions below, plus benefits, variations, and more.

How To Do A Seated Overhead Press

  1. In any seated position that you feel comfortable, sit with good posture (shoulders over hips, spine neutral, navel drawn in). Bring dumbbells to your shoulders with bent arms and your elbows wide to your sides but still visible in your periphery.
  2. Press one weight directly overhead until your arm is completely straight. Pause, then slowly lower back to the starting position.
  3.  Repeat on the other side.

Reps/sets for best results: I recommend three sets of 10 to 15 reps for best results.

What Are The Benefits Of The Seated Overhead Press?

The seated overhead press will build strength through your shoulders, chest, biceps and triceps (hello, upper body strength!). Plus, doing this move in a seated position helps you focus more on isolating your shoulders, instead of overcompensating with your legs.

The seated press will also allow you to focus on your form, so when you’re doing a standing overhead press, you’ll look and get results like a pro.

Bonus benefit: If you keep an engaged core (which you should), you’ll get some abs work in there, too!

Variations Of The Seated Overhead Press

  • Add tempo to your seated overhead press: Push the weight up in one second and then lower it down slowly for five seconds. This will help you focus on your form and build strength quicker.
  • Do the press in a kneeling position: This variation of an overhead press challenges your core even more because your base is less stable and you’re able to squeeze and engage your glutes, which will help activate your deep core stabilizer muscles.

How To Add The Seated Overhead Press To Your Workout

  • Pair it with a pulling motion: Try this move after a bent over row or chin-ups, so that you can alternate the push and pull movements of your workout. This will ensure your body is getting enough rest as it does work.
  • Add it to your arms day: This a great move to do if you’re shooting for hypertrophy, a.k.a. building muscle! Incorporate this movement into your workout with a heavyweight, rest for 2 to 3 minutes, then repeat for the full three sets.

This article was originally published on 

READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice

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