The press, overhead press or shoulder press is a weight training exercise in which a weight is pressed straight upwards from the shoulders until it is locked out overhead. The lift is performed standing.
The press is set up by taking a barbell and putting it on the anterior deltoids. This can be done by taking the barbell from a rack or by cleaning the weight from the floor (clean and press). Alternatively the movement can be performed with dumbbells, though they do not rest neatly on the deltoids. They do not have easily accessible high racks so the trainee needs to clean them or have a spotter assist them in getting them into the starting position.
The press involves moving a barbell or dumbbells from the shoulder and pushing it up above the head until the elbows are fully locked out. As the bar clears the head, the lifter leans forward slightly in order to keep balance. As the bar is lowered back to the shoulders and clears the head again, the lifter leans slightly back.
The press is a highly effective compound upper-body exercise. Performing it standing recruits many more muscle groups in order to maintain balance and support the lift, rather than performing it seated. Like the squat and dead lift, it can be thought of as a whole-body exercise, to some extent.
Other variations of the overhead press are:
- Military press: Heels together with strict form. It is called the "Military Press" because this movement used to be the general indicator or test of one's strength in the military.
- Olympic press:also known as clean and press, lift used in Olympic Weightlifting, consists of a clean, then pressing with no lower body movement, such as in the Push press. Discontinued after 1972 Olympics due to inconsistent judging criteria (such as should the lifter be allowed to bend backwards slightly when pressing, should a leg drive be allowed).
- Push press: using leg drive
- Behind-the-neck press: barbell in the neck vs. on the anterior deltoids
- Seated press pressing while seated (commonly on a bench)
- Dumbbell press: using dumbbells.
- One-handed press: pressing with one arm at a time
- Arnold Press: beginning a press with forearms supinated, ending with forearms pronated.
- Bradford Press: as you press, once the bar clears a few inches overhead it is slowly lowered behind the head then explosively reversed to the front and slowly lowered to the starting position. The 2 phases are commonly considered one repetition.
- Sots press: pressing from the bottom of a squat position
- Bent press: pressing the weight overhead while twisting the trunk.
Other forms of pressing include:
See also 
- Mark Rippetoe with Lon Kilgore, Starting Strength, The Aasgaard Company Publishers, 2005, ISBN 0-9768054-0-5
- Shoulder Press/lift with barbell at www.exershare.com
- Shoulder Press instructional video and description
- Various shoulder presses described at exrx.net
- Description of the side press
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