Standing Shoulder Press Superior To Seated 5 powerful reasons
If you are thirsty, will you be asking yourself…Should I be drinking water?
In the same way
If today is your shoulder day, will you ask yourself…Should I be doing shoulder press?
A shoulder workout without a shoulder press exercise is like a gym without weights – empty and pointless.
Yes, we can debate whether you should be using a barbell or a dumbbell but, not whether you can give the shoulder press a miss. Shoulder Press provides you with bigger, rounded, symmetrical, and aesthetically appealing shoulders.
There are two main variations of shoulder press –
- Seated Shoulder Press
- Standing Shoulder Press
The question that we should be asking is which variation is superior when it comes to building your shoulders?
In this article, we will see five reasons why standing shoulder press is better than seated shoulder press?
Reason 1 – Seated shoulder press is bad for your lower back
There is a general belief that seated shoulder press is safer for your lower back. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
In seated shoulder press, when the weight starts to feel heavy, it is very difficult to maintain a neutral spine. You will tend to over-arch your back which puts the spine into hyperextension. The entire load of the weight will be concentrated on the lower back. This causes a lot of pressure on the spinal disk and it can lead to lower back injury.
In the standing position, the load is transferred from the spine to the hip joint. The hip joint is a weight-bearing joint and is capable of handling heavy loads. Thus, keeping your lower back safe.
Reason 2 – Muscle activation is more in standing shoulder press
Yes, it’s true that you can lift heavier weights in seated shoulder press when compared with the standing variation. But that doesn’t mean that it is more effective in stimulating the shoulder muscles.
A 2013 study compared four variations of shoulder press to see their effect on the three heads of shoulder muscles (Anterior, Lateral, and Posterior).
The four variations were
- Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
- Seated Barbell Shoulder Press
- Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The research found that, even with the lesser weights, Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press had 8% greater muscle activation than Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press.
In a standing position, the demand for stability is more while lifting the weights overhead. So, along with lifting the weights, the muscles are getting an additional challenge to keep the weights stable. This added challenge provides better stimulation to the shoulder muscles to grow.
Reason 3 – Standing Shoulder Press increases Core strength
Have you ever wondered why your upper body doesn’t collapse like a loose chain under weights?
This happens because of your core muscles. These are a complex group of muscles which provide stability and balance during any physical activity. Having a strong core is a prerequisite for any sports activity. It protects your spine and helps in maintaining a good posture.
Standing shoulder press directly targets your core muscles as overhead lifting in a standing position demands a lot of stability and balance. Core muscles engage at a maximal level to keep your upper body in a strong and neutral position.
All the strength sports like, Olympic lifting, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Strongman competitions will have a carry-over effect by performing the standing shoulder press.
In a seated shoulder press your body is supported by the bench. This takes away the challenge from the core muscles to maintain the stability and posture.
Reason 4 – Seated Shoulder Press has no functional benefit
While traveling in a bus, if you were to lift a heavy bag and keep it on the rack above your seat, which movement are you going to mimic? Standing Shoulder press.
As discussed above, standing shoulder press helps you develop a strong core which is required in performing any high-intensity physical activity.
Can you think of one instance in any sport or day-to-day life where you have to lift something heavy in a seated position?
Let me know in the comment section below if you could find any.
Reason 5 – Standing overhead press burns more calories
Standing Shoulder press primarily targets your shoulder muscle along with the triceps and upper chest.
Not only that, it efficiently targets your core muscles. Along with these upper body muscles it also involves the entire lower body from the hips, legs, ankle, to the feet to stabilize the body while pressing. It essentially is a whole body exercise.
Compared to this, the seated shoulder press only works on your shoulders, triceps and upper chest.
More muscles being trained means more calories being burned. So if your target is to burn more calories and lose weight, then you should be doing the standing shoulder press.
So it’s time to get on your feet and lift weights the way they are meant to be lifted. And use your body the way it is designed to handle those weights.