Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBench
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Traps, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Shoulder Pin Press Overview

The shoulder pin press is a variation of the overhead press and is used to directly target the muscles of the shoulders. The exercise will also indirectly target the core, traps, and triceps.

The shoulder pin press is an excellent exercise to train power since you will be pushing the weight used from a dead stop. The addition of pins also allows the lifter to use slightly heavier weight than they might performing the traditional shoulder press variation.

Shoulder Pin Press Instructions

  1. Adjust the safety pins to shoulder height while standing.
  2. Set the bar on the pins, load the desired weight, and stand directly beneath the bar with a shoulder width stance.
  3. Place your hands at (or just outside of) shoulder width with a pronated grip.
  4. Inhale, brace your abs, tuck your chin, and push the bar into the rack as press overhead to lockout.
  5. Exhale once the bar gets to lockout and reverse the movement slowly while controlling the bar back to the pins.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Shoulder Pin Press Tips

  1. Reach tall at the top and don’t worry about keeping the shoulders packed down and back.
  2. Allow the elbows to rotate and point outward at the top of the movement but tuck them tight to the ribcage at the bottom.
  3. Fight to control the bar from rolling your wrists into extension and think about “rolling your knuckles toward the ceiling.”
  4. Keep momentum out of the movement and don’t add any additional leg drive by flexing and extending the knees.
  5. Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs as you press. You shouldn’t be leaning back excessively as you press.
  6. Imagine you’re trying to look out a window at the top, your ears should be in line with your biceps.
  7. If your shoulders are bothering you during the movement, consider experimenting with a wider grip or utilizing some of the vertical pressing progressions.
  8. Press into the rack the entire time and lean forward slightly to enhance the movement even further.
  9. You can use a staggered stance to prevent the lower back from arching excessively but if you still can’t control the anterior core then consider using a half kneeling regression.