Standing Shoulder Press vs Seated Shoulder Press

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Are Standing Exercises Better For You?

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m discussing standing vs seated exercises and comparing the benefits of the standing shoulder press vs seated shoulder press exercise.

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Also, before reading any further, I want you to scroll to the comment section below, and give me your answer to the following question:

  • Do you perform more exercises standing up or sitting down?

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Ok, cool.

Let’s get into it.

Are standing or seated exercises more effective in helping you Live Lean?

In this post, I’m going to share if one way is better than the other, and which method will ultimately help you Live Lean faster.

Seated Barbell Shoulder Press

Standing Barbell Shoulder Press

Standing Shoulder Press vs Seated Shoulder Press

First of all, your body and muscles are meant to work as one unit.

For example, when you’re standing up and lifting something over your head, like an overhead barbell shoulder press, the lower back is pulled in to help support and stabilize the movement.

This means the lower back strengthens along with your shoulders during the standing barbell shoulder press.

However, when you’re seated on an incline bench, your back is supported by the bench, so your lower back doesn’t need to work as hard.

Essentially this means your body is no longer working synergistically together as one unit.

Same thing goes for the barbell back squat vs seated leg press

Barbell Back Squat

Seated Leg Press

Does this mean standing lifts are more effective in Living Lean?

In my opinion, when comparing the standing barbell shoulder press vs seated barbell shoulder press, standing lifts helps create an overall stronger unit, and a more injury proofed body.

Most people, due to poor posture and lifestyle habits, have very weak core strength and lack lower back strength.

Even if you’re a bodybuilder training mainly for size, you can really build good mass in the posterior chain, a.k.a. the muscles on the back of your body, with standing lifts.

Do you feel lower back pain during the standing barbell shoulder press?

If you feel lower back pain when doing the standing barbell shoulder press, or any other standing lift, you should definitely talk to a health professional.

It’s important to find the cause of the issue and then find the solution to strengthen it.

In other words, work with a professional and fix the problem.

Don’t be one of those people that just says, “I can’t do squats or deadlifts”.

Erase “can’t” out of your vocabulary.

Seek professional help and address the cause of the pain.

This is more important than just putting a band aid over the symptom by skipping the exercises that are the most beneficial for strengthening your weak links.

In this case, those weak links being your core and lower back.

Standing lifts are the foundational movements of Living Lean

Standing lifts like the barbell shoulder press, barbell back squat, and the barbell deadlift are foundational movements of Living Lean.

How To Do A Barbell Deadlift | Exercise Video and Guide

These exercises are foundational to Living Lean because they:

  • burn the most calories
  • induce the greatest fat burning hormonal response
  • maximize the afterburn effect so you burn even more calories while you sleep

You know I have a full 6 week workout program that creates that exact hyper calorie burning response in your body right?

Live Lean Afterburn 2.0

Click here to get Live Lean Afterburn 2.0.

Lastly, trained professionals can also recommend alternative exercises that are just as effective as squats and deadlifts, but easier on the lower back.

Safety Squat Bar

An alternative to regular barbell back squats would be using a Safety Squat Bar.

This safety squat bar allows you to get deeper into the squat, while still keeping your back upright.

This places less stress and torque on the knees, lower back, and ultimately your lower vertebrae.

Trap Bar

Another alternative is a Trap Bar.

This is a special diamond shaped bar where you stand inside of it.

I used to say you know you’re doing barbell deadlifts right if your shins are bloody.

Well with this bar, you’ll avoid bloody shins and have better balance.

It also allows you to keep a more upright posture meaning you’ll have less force on the spine.

Bottom line on standing shoulder press vs seated shoulder press exercise

Focus on more standing exercises like the standing barbell shoulder press, squats and deadlifts.

If you have previous injuries, seek help, treat the symptom, and prevent it from happening again.

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You can do it.

In my next video post, I’ll be back talking about my thoughts on exercise swiss ball training, as well as sharing a few innovative swiss ball exercises.


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Question For You:

  • Do you currently do more of your lifts standing up or seated?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.

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29 responses to “Standing Shoulder Press vs Seated Shoulder Press

  1. I think sitting allows to focus on the part of your body you whant to work. But standing is better if you wann lose weight in general.

  2. Awesome post, Brad!
    Some people insist on sitting in order to super-isolate certain muscles such as the delts for Arnolds or dumbbell flies. Perfectly valid and I even use that in my “gain” plan, but I always prescribe standing exercises first like Military Press or squats to really push some heavy weight, not to mention working the core like you said. With standing exercises, you can use your torso and even legs to help you do a few more “cheat reps” but only after you’ve done a full set of perfect form reps.

  3. I have been standing to do all of my exercises I can do staring for more years than I can count! ๐Ÿ™‚ I started to help me just keep moving thru my workout & I knew it would not only burn a few extra calories BUT make me focus on form & posture & core. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Standing, absolutely! Works MAJOR muscle groups AND strengthens the core. As for feeling it in your back – like you said, make sure you’re not injured/have an underlying problem. Then it’s time to focus on the core. Strong core = stronger back.

  5. Hello sir… I’m just wondering what exercise is good to lose belly fats that is suitable fr teenagers.. thank you…

    ive also message you…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I have bulged disks in my lower back so I do standing squats with light weight and a full range of motion (butt to the floor) and use the seated press to work heavy.

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