Standing Alternating Front Back Barbell Press

Key Takeaways

Alright, fitness enthusiast! Looking for that new game-changer for your upper body workouts? Enter the Standing Alternating Front Back Barbell Press. This exercise not only sounds cool but is also a fantastic way to target both your front and back deltoids. In the next few minutes, you’ll dive deep into what it is, why you should do it, and how you can master it even if you’re just starting out. Ready to crush it? Let’s dive in!

What’s the Standing Alternating Front Back Barbell Press?

Great question! The Standing Alternating Front Back Barbell Press is a dynamic compound exercise that focuses on your shoulders—primarily the anterior (front) and posterior (back) deltoids. If you’re after those sculpted, well-rounded shoulders, you’re in the right place.

How To Do It: Step-By-Step

Okay, let’s break it down. Remember, start light, especially if you’re a beginner.

  1. Setup: Grab a barbell and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the barbell at about shoulder width.
  2. Position: Bring the barbell up, resting it on your chest. Your palms should be facing away from you, and your elbows pointing forward and slightly downward.
  3. The Front Press: Exhale and press the barbell up and in front of your head. Your arms should be straight at the top.
  4. The Back Press: Instead of lowering the barbell down the same path, bring it down behind your head, aiming for the base of your neck.
  5. Alternate: Now, press up from behind your head and then bring it back to the starting position in front of your chest.
  6. Repeat: Continue alternating between the front and back presses.

Which Muscles Are On Fire?

While the Standing Alternating Front Back Barbell Press might sound intricate, its primary focus is on the shoulders. Specifically, it targets:

  • Anterior Deltoids (front shoulders) with the Front Barbell Press.
  • Posterior Deltoids (rear shoulders) with the Barbell Front Press.

Yes, you read that right—two deltoid muscles getting pumped in one exercise. Bonus: Your triceps and upper chest get some love too!

Tips To Master It

  1. Start Light: Especially if you’re new to this, always begin with a weight you’re comfortable with.
  2. Keep a Tight Core: This stabilizes you and prevents any unwanted sway during the press.
  3. Avoid Locking Your Elbows: This ensures continuous tension in the shoulders.
  4. Maintain a Neutral Spine: Especially when pressing behind the head, be careful not to arch the back.
  5. Breath Control: Exhale when you press, inhale when you lower.


  1. What’s the primary benefit of the Standing Alternating Front Back Barbell Press?
    • This press targets both the front and back deltoids, giving an all-rounded shoulder workout.
  2. Can beginners do this exercise?
    • Absolutely! Start with lighter weights and focus on form.
  3. How often should I include this in my routine?
    • 1-2 times a week should be sufficient when mixed with other upper body exercises.
  4. Is the barbell the only equipment I can use?
    • Primarily, yes. But as you advance, you can explore variations with dumbbells.
  5. Is it safe to do the press behind the head?
    • With proper form and a neutral spine, yes. If you have shoulder issues, consult a trainer first.
  6. Can I do this exercise seated?
    • You can, but standing engages more stabilizing muscles.
  7. Do I need a spotter for this exercise?
    • It’s always safer with a spotter, especially with heavier weights.
  8. Is this better than a standard shoulder press?
    • Not necessarily better, just different. It offers a variation that targets both front and rear deltoids.
  9. Can this exercise help with shoulder mobility?
    • It can, but always warm up properly and don’t force the range of motion.
  10. How long before I see results?
    • Consistency is key! With a balanced diet and regular workouts, you should see improvements in a few weeks.

There you have it, folks! The Standing Alternating Front Back Barbell Press in all its glory. At AH7, we’re all about ensuring you have the right information to make your fitness journey effective and fun. Keep pressing on!

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