T Nation

Seated or Standing Press


Hey Thibs, I am going to incorporate some over head pressing into my new 12 week cycle coming up and was wondering which you had experienced as being a better mass developer in your clients, the seated or standing press?

The standing press seems like it would be better for more overall power output and performance (which might give me the answer I need right there), but I have always felt the shoulder muscles doing more work in the seated position.

Maybe work up to max on the standing, and then do the "accessory" movements seated to get the best of both? Or just alternate every 4-12 weeks or so?


Every single athlete I train press standing... except bodybuilders!!! Most of the bodybuilders I train or have trained pressed seated at a very steep angle (back seat at about a 80 degrees angle). The reasons are:

1) Most do not have the shoulder mobility to press at the right place (bringing the bar behind the ears when the arms are fully extended). They press the bar up and it stays in front of their head. The seated position makes it easier to press more weight when you press forward.

2) It's not a jab at bodybuilders, but is is a fact that they are much less stable and coordinated (in general) than athletes and because of that they use much less weight, with worse form, when pressing standing.


Sounds good. Ideally we would be pressing standing then, from the shoulder shelf and bringing the bar up and behind the ears. I'll cycle that in for a few weeks and see if I cant give my pec's a break from all the 2x a week pressing layers (and the SGHP seems to put stress on my pec-delt tie in)