Exercises that will make you a better Rock Climber – How to Do a Shoulder Press


Shoulder press is a base building exercise for climbing as it involves a lot of pulling, our biceps and lats (latissimus dorsi) tend to overpower antagonist or pushing muscles, such as the extensor muscles in the forearms, triceps, and pectorals. Developing the antagonistic muscles helps correct imbalances and develops all-around strength.

Purpose: To Strengthen upper body for Rock Climbing.

Targets: Shoulder presses build strength and stability in the deltoids, and work the pectorals and triceps. In addition, it will work on Abs (Core and Legs)

Abs: Your core muscles stabilize your body while your shoulders and arms press the weight overhead. They keep you from collapsing under the bar. This strengthens your abdominal muscles, oblique and lower back. Stronger abs are more muscular.

Legs: Your legs balance your body while your shoulders and arms press. This works your hips, thighs, calves and ankles. They stay straight. But they have to do isometric work.


Do three sets of 15–20 repetitions, resting 30–60 seconds between sets. Stand with your back straight Raise your arms so that your shoulders are even and elbows bent at 90 degrees. Palms should face forward (outwards) and triceps are parallel to the floor. In a controlled motion, press the weight upward until the arm is locked

Setup. Stand with the bar on your front shoulders. Narrow grip, straight wrists, vertical forearms. Lock your knees and hips.

Lift Your Chest. Raise your chest towards the ceiling by arching your upper-back. Try to touch your chin with your upper-chest.

Press. Take a big breath, hold it and press the bar in a vertical line. Don’t press it in front or behind your head. Press it over your head.

Move Forward. Stay close to the bar while you press the weight up. Shift your torso forward once the bar has passed your forehead.

Lockout.Hold the bar over your shoulders and mid-foot for proper balance. Lock your elbows. Shrug your shoulders to the ceiling.

Return the bar to your shoulders after each rep. Exhale, raise your chest and set your forearms vertical. Take a big breath and press your next rep. Don’t bend your legs. This takes work away from your shoulder muscles by using your stronger leg muscles. Keep your hips and knees locked from start to finish. If you can’t, the weight is too heavy. Lower it so your shoulders do most of the work when you Press.