Barbell Exercises: Single Arm Barbell Push Press

The barbell is a great tool for developing a wide range of different muscle groups and types. Barbells are long bars on which you can attach various weights in order to customize the amount of weight that you’ll be lifting for your exercises. The single arm barbell push press is a difficult exercise that can help to develop a number of muscle groups.

The barbell push press involves holding a barbell at shoulder level and pushing it up above your head. Due to the risk of injury and the potential for dropping the barbell, this exercise should only be attempted by those with prior experience doing weightlifting. It’s also important that you keep a spotter close by to be sure that you don’t hurt yourself or cause any damage while you’re exercising. Read on for a brief overview of this exercise.

Exercise Basics

In order to execute this exercise, you’ll need to first hold a barbell with an overhand grip (so that your palms are facing upward and your knuckles are closer to your face than to the opposite wall). Hold the barbell up in front of your chest with your elbows by your sides. This is the rest position for the exercise.

To do the exercise itself, lower your legs by bending them slightly. In one single, fluid motion, raise up your legs to a fully extended position and use that momentum to help push the barbell up over your head. Do not lock either your knees or your elbows at the top. Slowly lower the barbell back down so that it’s at the starting position. This is one repetition and can be repeated as you’d like.

Safety and Injury Prevention

Because you’re holding a barbell up high and above your head for part of this exercise, safety is key. Do not move too quickly. Be very aware of having a tight grip on the barbell at all times. Additionally, start with a lower weight and then move your way up to a higher one so that you can carefully control the progression of your exercise.

Using your legs to help control the motion of the barbell is key to injury prevention. It ensures that you’re not lifting the barbell up by straining your back muscles.


This exercise is designed to help benefit your biceps, triceps and, above all, your deltoid muscles. It is a great overall upper body exercise. However, you can put unnecessary strain on your back muscles if you fail to execute it properly. Therefore, it’s important that you work together with a spotter who can make sure that you’re performing the exercise as you should be. Additionally, be careful not to use too much weight, because this can cause you some difficulty and some pain as well. If in doubt, use a lower amount of weight and move slowly to be sure that you’re not going to hurt yourself.


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