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


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Seated Bradford Press (AKA Seated Rocky Press) Overview

The seated Bradford press is a variation of the overhead press and an exercise used to build shoulder strength and muscle.

The exercise is a combination exercise that combines a traditional seated shoulder press with a seated behind the neck press. It also uses a partial range of motion to keep constant tension on the shoulders throughout the set.

Behind the neck press variations are often seen as a dated practice since they can put the shoulder in a compromised position, increasing the risk of injury.

If you do not have a fair amount of shoulder mobility, it is not recommended to perform this variation. And even if you do, depending on your reasoning behind the use of this exercise, there may be better variations available for you to use.

Seated Bradford Press (AKA Seated Rocky Press) Instructions

  1. Adjust the barbell to just below shoulder height then load the desired weight onto the bar.
  2. Place an adjustable bench beneath the bar in an upright position.
  3. Sit down on the bench and unrack the bar using a pronated grip..
  4. Inhale, brace, and press the bar three quarters of the way to lockout.
  5. Allow the bar to come back down behind the neck, then press three quarters of the way to lockout.
  6. Repeat this cyclical process for the desired number of repetitions.

Seated Bradford Press (AKA Seated Rocky Press) Tips

  1. Reach tall at the top and don’t worry about keeping the shoulders packed down and back.
  2. Fight to control the bar from rolling your wrists into extension and think about “rolling your knuckles toward the ceiling.”
  3. Keep momentum out of the movement and don’t add any additional leg drive by flexing and extending the knees.
  4. Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs as you press. You shouldn’t be leaning back excessively as you press.
  5. Imagine you’re trying to look out a window at the top, your ears should be in line with your biceps.
  6. If your shoulders are bothering you during the movement, consider experimenting with a wider grip or utilizing some of the vertical pressing progressions listed on the site.