Can You Do Seated Shoulder Press Without Back Support?

Strong shoulders are a need if you desire a fantastic upper body. Exercises like the seated shoulder press with weight added are strenuous. But effective for building upper body strength.

But how should a shoulder press be done properly, back support or not? Well, It’s a question that often comes to mind at random times when exercising. 

So, can you really do seated shoulder press without back support

Yes, obviously you can do seated shoulder presses without back support. Without back support, this hits delts more forcefully than before. In that case, you should drop some weight you usually lift while using back support. Because the risk of lower back pain may increase without any back support. 

This is just a brief bit of information. You still have a lot of stuff to go through. And to make things easier for you, I’ll discuss those generally.

So, here we go. 

Can You Do Shoulder Press Without Back Support?

Increasing shoulder size and strength, shoulder presses are seen to be a great workout. The shoulder press is a great workout for building strong shoulders and upper back muscles. 

It strains your spine because you keep your torso in an upright position throughout. Also, using incorrect forms might result in major injury to your back and muscles. 

Usually, people do seated shoulder presses with back support. But as I have mentioned earlier you can do seated shoulder press without back support. Without back support, some people find shoulder press more effective than ever.  

Your triceps and deltoid muscles are predominantly worked during shoulder presses. Shoulder presses also train the erector spine, or lower back. As well as the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, and rhomboid muscles in your upper back. 

So, what’s the proper way to do that? Well, allow me to show you how to perform properly seated shoulder presses without using back support.

How To Seated Shoulder Press?

You can do seated shoulder press using a pair of dumbbells or with a bar. It’s a variation of the overhead press. 

You should include vertical press variations like the sitting shoulder press in your exercise regimens. Because they are crucial movement patterns to train your muscles.

But you should avoid doing the two-shoulder workouts on the same day. Just like you avoid doing bench press and military press.   

Lifting too much weight or making exercises intense can cause damage. Like back pain or joint pain. So, don’t push yourself too hard.

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Let’s learn how to perform sitting shoulder presses correctly without further ado. You can follow simple and easy steps to do that. In this way, you can minimize the injuries and increase the strength of your upper body. 

Step 1

Take your position. So that the grips are just above or level with your shoulders, adjust the seat height. 

Use a full grasp to securely hold the dumbbells or bar. Thumbs firmly grasp the holding place. And keep your wrist neutrally in line with your forearms. Your elbows should be in the 4 and 8 o’clock positions. 

By using these dumbbells, you can do even better overhead pressing accurately. 

Put your feet firmly on the ground or the footrests to keep your body in balance. Throughout the exercise, maintain your low back’s natural arch without arching your back. Pull your shoulders back and downward. Throughout the workout, make an effort to keep this stance.

Step 2 

Take a slow, gentle exhale, and press upward. Extend your elbows overhead while keeping your wrists in a neutral position. Keep your head in alignment with your spine and try not to arch your low back.

Step 3 

Your elbows should remain extended but not locked as you continue pressing. Before gradually contracting your lats bring the handles back to your starting position. Take a brief pause. 

Give your elbows a slow, gentle flex. Return to their initial positions at 4 and 8 o’clock while moving slowly. Repeat the motion over and over. 

However, there is something important that you should remember. You should drop some weight while you are doing seated presses without supporting your back. Keep the alignment straight. 

If you feel it’s hurting your back, immediately stop doing it. Take some help from your gym instructor to do shoulder press propeperly.  

How Does Shoulder Press Work Without Support?

The shoulders are the upper body’s calves. The shoulder press is thought of as a shoulder workout. It actually works out much more. It is a great compound and functional exercise. 

Your workout will be considerably more intense if you do this exercise without any back support. This is how some bodybuilders choose to do the shoulder press. As a result, they experienced more powerful muscle pressure.

So, let’s see how the shoulder press can improve the efficacy of your workout.

Core Stability and Strength

Lifting weight overhead develops the core strength of the body. 

When you shoulder press without back support, your core stability is actually being maximized. Because you are less dependent on back support. 

The issue with the layback press is that the hips are used to perform the press. It really takes away the amount of actual pure pressing your shoulders are doing. 

So, do the seated press as a supplemental movement. Because it took the hips completely out of the movement. And it took lay back completely out of the movement. It’s just a strict, yucky, hard overhead press.    

Hit Delts Much Harder

The anterior and lateral deltoids are used in the shoulder press. The anterior deltoid is used to elevate the arms and over the head. 

The top and side of the shoulder are the lateral deltoids.  It supports raising the arms wide and pressing weight upward. 

So, lifting weight without using back support, hits delts much harder than any time. 

Isolated And Engaged Shoulders 

Without any support, lifters could realize that pressing from a seated position is more difficult. Without back support, seated shoulder presses isolate the shoulders more, which is beneficial for hypertrophy. 

For those who want to isolate and engage shoulders more, it is a preferable option. It can produce significant shoulder, triceps, and upper chest hypertrophy.

Are Shoulder Presses Bad For Back?

When shoulder pressing, many lifters experience back pain frequently. Back discomfort might happen due to many reasons. 

Bodybuilders made different types of mistakes while doing overhead presses. And it might put a roadblock in your path to your goal. So, Keep track of the type of mistakes you make.

Here are some mistakes that may cause back pain. Therefore, you need to exercise caution.

Using Front Body To Press

Pressing forward of your body will put a strain on your spine. Back discomfort can be brought on by position changes that strain the back.

Arching Excessively

To perform an overhead press muscles worked, you should have an arched back. When the spine is under pressure, the spine may become overarched. In an unstable position, it puts a lot of pressure on the spine. 

Having a weak core or carrying too much weight could be the cause of this.

Lifting Too Much Weight

As you are not using any back support, while shoulder pressing. Back pain might result from lifting too much weight. Because it can be harmful like if you prefer to lose 4 pounds per day. So, you need to think before lifting heavy weights. 

You should cut some of the weight that you usually lift with back support. 

Using Legs While Pressing 

The overhead press needs strict pressing with the arms and shoulders. If you are using lags while shoulder pressing, you’re basically doing a push press.  

When using heavyweight, the push press requires more initial force. And doing push press while shoulder pressing causes serious back pain. 


Should I Use Back Support For Shoulder Press?

Use back support to conduct shoulder presses if you are experiencing back pain. Sit against a backrest to keep your back supported. Check that your feet are firmly seated on the footrests or the ground. In order to maintain your spine steady, contract the abdominal muscles.

What Shoulder Exercise Hits All Heads?

The barbell overhead press develops all three deltoid heads. Overhead pressing variations are required for shoulders for bigger, stronger, and boulder-shaped. For size and strength, such variations are important. Because shoulder raise variants can only get you so far.

Do Shoulders Respond Better To Higher Reps?

High reps tend to work better for delts. Even if the front part can react well to fewer repetitions. For this reason, delt-dominant bench pressers frequently have a large front delt region. Higher reps of isolation exercises are ideal for training to achieve that rounded-shoulder look.

Are Shoulder Presses Safe?

Yes, it’s safe as long as the exercise’s mechanics can be made to be very dangerous. Shoulders’ abnormal movements can cause long-term and short-term risks of serious damage to your rotator cuffs. 


Let me conclude by saying that you can do seated shoulder press without back support. The thing you need to do is make sure you’re maintaining proper alignment while you’re doing this. 

I’ve covered all the information you need to know in this article. Hopefully, it will help you understand things better.

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