Overhead Barbell Press Seated vs Standing

Will I lose out barbell pressing seated rather than standing?

Thank you .

Depends on your goals. If you want to be better at pressing while standing, seated pressing won’t carry over as well as standing pressing.

Right now my goal is to continue lifting while having my new born in the pack and play. Problem is my ceiling is too low for overhead press. I guess I can do a standing press out side when it warms back up. Snow is coming tonight in Nebraska, so winter is about here.

With goals that general, there’s literally no bad decision you can make.

I’m in Nebraska right now as well. Got a little touch of snow last night.


I was thinking this too. I’d love to really increase my vertical pressing strength, but I’m worried that standing OHP would result in more lower back fatigue also along with squat/bench/deadlift/rows

Would seated press be a good workaround? Or even Z press?

Split the difference and do seated presses on a flat bench rather than one with a back support.


I switched to seated barbell presses a few months ago and found it made it noticeably easier to progress my press.

I believe this is because I have a weak core so while I find it easier to build my pressing muscles seated, I still haven’t got rid of the weak link, I’ve just covered it over, and I’m arguably making it worse by training it even less.

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I see! I figure I’ll get work on my core from squats and deadlifts, while my objective for training vertical pressing would be as an accessory to my bench.

But my core is also mad weak too, so it would be nice to take advantage of the off-season to work on that.

From my experience seated transfers to bench press like crazy and is better for bodybuilding purposes. Standing is better if you want a stronger standing press or just want to be more athletic.


In times of need I’ve trained the press kneeling. Mimics the standing press pretty closely depending on your style.

Seated works just fine, I’ve definitely made good progress on the ohp since switching to seated + my delts definitely look good!

Ed Coan would press seated… Ted Arcidi ( look him up) did also along with many other Bodybuilders back in the days.As pointed out it comes down to specificity .


Maybe do warm ups standing and sit for the heavier stuff.

From my own experience, when the core is weak, there is a greater tendency to lean back while doing standing overhead press. If the lean is so great that the lumbar hyperextends, there will be back pain.

When my core got strong enough to keep me standing up straight, all my back pain went away. I also got some relief from a number of technique adjustments based on Alan Thrall’s and Brian Alsruhe’s OHP videos, so maybe check those out.

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Yeah, that makes sense.

My coach as me doing both Standing OHP and seated DB press today. I wonder if he reads my posts here