T Nation

Exercises Performed Standing or Sitting?


I'd appreciate feedback, please.

I normally do my bicep curls, reverse curls, shoulder presses from a standing position, as I understand that standing is much better to the back than doing the exercises sitting. While one may be able to lift more by sitting, my question is am I correct that performing these exercises while standing is better for the back, and ultimately for core stability?

Thank you.


of course is better , more functional :slightly_smiling:


it is suprising that you have been a member of this site for over 6 years and are asking such questions.


you don't need to work your core stability on every exercise...if you are already doing squats, rows, deadlifts, chin ups, etc, then what is the point?...Especially low load exercises like curls and shoulder presses compared to squats and deads...

regardless, i prefer standing curl variations and seated shoulder press because both variations allow me to lift more weight and progress at a faster pace than their counterparts...


x2.. Your core is already being worked by exercises that must be done standing.


Do exercises standing up when possible. Sitting down puts more pressure on your vertebral discs and increases likelihood of injury.


Pretty sure the spine is built to be strong in compression. It's when things get out of their proper alignment that you start to see problems.

If doing things standing led to lesser degrees of spinal compression...then why do you see Olympic Weightlifter doing specific exercises to decompress the spine?


Standing presses are better than seated, since they involve more stabilizing muscles and contribute to core strength and stability. They also offer less spinal compression, making them a better choice for those with a history of lower-back pain.

That is out of one of last weeks articles. Why you would want to increase spinal compression I have no idea, With regards to olympic weight lifters decompressing the spine on purpose I haven't got a clue nor have heard of that before.


quote from the article

"But are seated presses really a good idea? Hyght gives the seated press a conditional thumbs-up, with a caution for those with a history of lower-back problems. "Seated shoulder presses do increase the compressive load on the intervertebral discs," he says.

"It's still a rather safe movement," Hyght adds. "Assuming you have a healthy spine, keep your abs tight, and avoid hyperextending at the lumbar spine, you won't likely develop any problems from doing seated presses. We basically have to pick our battles, and the seated shoulder press isn't a battle that most people should worry about."

I don't see where he said not to do it...Plus, you shouldn't base your decisions on one man's opinion...

But,, I have to say...I don't even like 90 degree shoulder presses...I prefer a slight incline...Allows for faster progression and is probably less compressive on the spine...


Its going to depend on the exercise. You obviously aren't going to do a BB curl seated. But certain things like DB shoulder press make much more sense seated.

If you want to work your "core" on curls, stand 1-legged on a bosu ball. (The key is that you dont use more than 3lb dbs)

If you want to work your targeted muscle, use what will allow the most weight.


Your attempting to build your core by doing shoulder exercises?
Do you build your shoulders, by doing curls?
Work your knees by doing bench?


When did this phrase become associated with Body Building?


What part dont you understand?


Actually, this is very smart and I'm going to steel this quote and use it whenever I'm enlightened of the various benefits of unstable exercises. rolls eyes


Where did I saw that you wanted to compress your spine? I simply stated that a healthy spine is meant to withstand compressive loads. See, you change your side of the fence here between posts. In your first post, you say that seated presses increase chance of injury and then in the second you say that seated presses are bad for people with pre-existing conditions.

Me, personally, I don't shoulder press for my "core"...I shoulder press for my shoulders. For me, a seated press is going to be stronger because it removes the aspect of having to balance and control the weight from a higher center of gravity.

This allows more weight to be used and also places a greater amount of mechanical stress specifically on the deltoids. Another thing to consider is that standing presses are much more likely to be "cheated" with the use of leg and hip drive, further decreasing their effectiveness as a shoulder exercise (we are talking in terms of body parts here, as this is the bodybuilding forum).

I'm going to fill you in on a little secret, if you have a claim to make here, supporting it with "it's in this article!" probably isn't going to shore up your argument very well.


If you do standing alt dumbell curls or sitting alt dumbell curls... do you expect to be able to do more with sitting?

I gaurantee you'll be much weaker sitting. Atleast that's my case..


Wait, so people are concerned with injuries doing stuff like seated curls or DB press, but powerlifters are doing 700+ pound box squats and are completely fine.

Don't be a nervous nancy!


My mistake, I read your post as compress and not decompress. And you got me it was a half ass response......
I am still a bit confused however, you said:
"If doing things standing led to lesser degrees of spinal compression...then why do you see Olympic Weightlifter doing specific exercises to decompress the spine?"
Wouldn't this become important for anyone doing heavy lifting not only olympic lifters, and be even more imporant to those that do seated presses vs. standing?


Why do Olympic lifters, who do next to zero seated lifts need to decompress their spines if performing your lifts while standing compresses the spine to a lesser degree?

Interesting to note that this is next to unheard of in lifters who do more seated lifting. If your logic held true, then this should be the other way around, no?


Your english skills are lacking big time.