Strict Press (Shoulder Press) - FITNESS INSTITUTE

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Strict Press (Shoulder Press)

Written by admin

January 2, 2020

Strength Exercises

The strict press is great for developing shoulder strength and tricep strength.

Grip stance will be approximately a thumbs width from hips when holding the bar. Using a rack will be easier to start, otherwise, you will need to clean the bar into the position shown below.

Note that compared to a Front Squat where our humerus (upper arm) is parallel to the ground, presses require our elbows to drop down to help put more shoulder and arm power into the lift.

Starting position front view:

Starting Position (side view):

Before you lift, feet should be underneath hips and forearms should be about vertical. As soon as you press (see below) move the head out of the way to make for a clean, straight vertical path for the bar.

Front view of the strict press moving the head out of the way for the bar:

Side view moving the head out of the way for the bar:

To complete the lift you need to be fully locked out with arms and knees and hips should not have moved:

Completed side view with knees, hips and elbows fully locked out and ears visible:


  • Keep hips as level as possible
  • Brace core as much as possible before and during the lift
  • Avoid excessive lumbar curve as you press the bar up.
  • If struggling with the “rack position” and elbow flexibility, build up wrist flexibility with exercises such as handstands and reverse grip push-ups (based on your level of competency)

Remember to seek the advice of your fitness trainer, medical and/or allied health professionals, if you are new to exercise or have an injury or medical condition to consider.

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