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OHP: Standing or Sitting?


Is it more strain on your back to do them standing or sitting? Which is more benifical muscle wise? Im talking strict form too no leg drive


I do seated because im a pussy. Also because my seated is 1.5 my standing.




Standing because seated bb presses are murder on my shoulder joint. Seated db presses are alright though.


I mostly do them seated...to take pressure off my back. I have heard it said there is more pressure seated, but my back calls BS.


I've done both and do both. More stress on my back standing tho. I wear my belt to help. Def getting stronger standing and will make my seated stronger. Haven't been doing standing enough to see if there is any correlation to benching heavier.


standing, clean each rep too. if it hurts your back, your midsection is too weak


Seated at a ~65 degree angle is least stressful on my lower back. Fully upright feels like it compresses my back a lot when I rack/unrack the weight.

I still use standing for push presses and 1-arm DB.


I do standing, no belt.


both..but prefer standing
savickas press is awesome too


There's no real reason to perform them sitting. It's far more efficient to do standing overhead presses, from a full body strength and muscular development point of view.


Yea there is. One back surgery was enough. Pull sumo, to protect the back. Perform overhead presses seated, to protect the back, and do good mornings....but never real heavy, to lift another day.


From a spinal standpoint all seated movements place more stress on the back than their standing counterparts. The weight is distributed from the waist up whereas in standing movements the weight is displaced throughout the entire body reducing the compressive forces on the spine.


While logically true, I think that the problem with OHP is that when people stand, they often start to let hips drift forward and lower back hyper arch as the weight gets heavy. This then puts it in a very weak position and can cause more stress on the lower back. The key is to learn to keep the core really tight, and keep your back in a healthy, strong position.


Sitting on the end of a bench, with no back support....bad! Standing is way better, as stated, you don't hyper arch the back. My opinion, seated with the back supported, protects the lower back, by taking pressure off it, and locking it into position.

Is my back my weak link? Oh yea. I protect it like the fragile, pitiful thing it is. I think my core is pretty strong, and I believe the stronger I get it the better my back is.
I use it when I must, and save it when I can.


I stand when I pee, so I also stand when I press.

This statement caused much dismay to the mirror muscle crowd at the gym.


Standing. I have never tried seated, but it doesnt sound right.



The seated position, with the hips flexed, causes greater spinal compression on the lumbar vertebrae. Back Pad, vs. no back pad has nothing to do with that internal compression. Your glutes and lower abdominals are also less supportive of the spine in the seated position, making the spine weaker from this as well.

This is not a safer position, by any means, but if you have found a pain free method to press, go for it. Just understand that what is more likely is that the feel of the seated prss has given you a better stimulus for keeping your spine stiff than the standing press. I would still say take some weight off the bar and do them standing, but thats just me.


You could say this with most exercises. If you do perfect form on a conventional pull and don't allow your back to round you'll be fine. When I max out a deadlift my backs gonna curve, which is why like the other user, pull sumo. I can do standing OHP with perfect form if I use sub maximal weights, last time I tried to max out on OHP I leaned too far back and fucked up my lower back. If I press seated i can go pretty heavy without having to worry about my lower back. I wasn't using a belt last time I maxed out though so now that I'm using one it might be safer.


Great post.
I know some people who champion the seated OHP as they claim to press more this way. This is likely because the back support is preventing them losing their core and their hips drifting.
If a person can't perform a lift in its true state with good form, they should probably just lower the weight and address their weak points, rather than finding "ways around" it. Avoiding training a weak core is a fairly big mistake IMHO.