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Standing Barbell Press For Strongman

The standing chest press is a powerful, energy-intensive exercise that came to bodybuilding from weightlifting. Its inclusion in the training program contributes to the growth of an athlete’s strength indicators, an active increase in the mass and volume of several muscle groups at once.

The benefits of exercise

Correct execution of the exercise allows you to load several muscle groups to the maximum in a short time, to develop explosive strength

  • The musculature receives tangible stress, provoking its active growth

  • There is progress in doing other strength exercises

  • Speed and coordination of movements develop. Flexibility in the shoulder joints is increased


In other words, if the classic barbell squats, deadlifts, or presses are no longer enough for you, to get the maximum muscle response, try this heavy exercise. However, remember that the standing barbell chest press is quite traumatic and therefore requires a refined execution technique. It’s better to start mastering the movement with an empty bar or low weight.

Exercise is contraindicated for people experiencing problems with the spine, shoulder or knee joints, and wrist injuries.

Working muscles

The standing chest press is a basic exercise. It engages the muscles of almost the entire body. The main load is on the hips and lower back. Additionally, the press, traps, shoulders, forearms, calves, and buttocks are involved in the movement.

“A feature of this movement is the need to quickly and accurately coordinate the work of a large number of muscle groups.”

Exercise technique

The standing barbell press can be performed:

  • From the platform (from the floor)

  • From a few centimeters from the platform

  • From below the knees

  • From the middle of the thigh

The main thing is to lift the bar from the floor, and other positions are considered auxiliary. In particular, the snatch is intended for training the first phase of the movement. The positions below and above the knees are used for practicing acceleration.


Snatch of the barbell to the chest

Let’s look at the classic version when the bar is on the floor:

1Stand in front of the bar with your toes underneath. At the same time, place your feet shoulder-width apart. Sit down with your back straight and grab the bar with a straight wide grip. Look straight ahead, and remember to arch your lower back. If the weight is too heavy, it is better to use a hook grip. Position your hands so that, when lifting the bar, your hands don’t press the bar against your shoulders

2Lift the bar off the floor using your leg and back muscles. Keep the bar as close to you as possible – it slides along your body throughout the exercise. Pull the barbell up in a controlled motion

3When the bar reaches mid-thigh, you need to perform a powerful jerk, giving the bar maximum acceleration. Vigorously spread the legs to the end and straighten the body. Stand on your toes, bring your shoulders up and use your hands. At the same time, the pelvis should be slightly brought forward, and the upper body should be taken back

4While the bar is still moving up, you need to quickly sit under it. Bring your elbows forward, holding the bar in your palms. As soon as the bar starts to fall, sit down with it, dampening its acceleration. Continue squatting until your hips are parallel to the floor

5Without stopping at the bottom point, rise from the squat and take a stable position. The bar should rest on the upper chest with the hands relaxed

6End of exercise

In the end, you can return the barbell to its place, or, lowering the barbell to mid-thigh level, go straight to repetition. To do this, you need to quickly bring your elbows out from under the bar and squat down slightly, unbending your arms and lowering the bar. Calculate your working weight so that you can complete 8 clean reps.

standing-barbell-press-lifting-barbell from-mid-thigh-level

Lifting the barbell from mid-thigh level

Useful tips

The exercise has several features that you should always keep in mind:

  • The bar moves strictly along the body, not along a vertical path

  • There should be no stops between the phases of movement. The exercise is performed holistically, with a smooth transition between phases

  • The barbell moves due to the coordinated work of a large number of muscle groups. If any of them, for example, your hips, back, or shoulders, are lagging, work on their development separately

This exercise will allow you to develop muscle strength and get a significant increase in muscle mass. Movements can be practiced separately. Then you may collect them into one exercise. It’s better to start training with a lightweight, and after the exercise becomes completely controlled, increase the load.

I'm a professional fitness instructor and nutritionist, runner, husband and father. I do my best in providing the right guidance when it comes to the grounds of sexual health, nutrition and common fitness.

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