How to Do a Squat Press – Barbell, Dumbbells & More

I want to share with you how to do a specific exercise called a squat press. This is something you can do with either dumb bells or barbells. Just choose whichever is most comfortable for you.

Once I detail how to do this exercise, you may think that it’s really simple, and it is. So why bother to go through all the trouble of making a whole article just to tell you how to do this exercise?

For any exercise, the right form is very important. That’s what helps you to get the best results out of it and really benefit your muscle groups and muscle development.

Having the right form and the right movement for the exercise also ensures that you’re unlikely to injure yourself. It protects you from the kinds of injuries that people have all the time in the gym and at home when they work out.

If you really want great results from your workouts and you want value for the effort you put in, then you need to know the right form for each kind of exercise you do.

The squat and press is easy enough to do. You simply do a squat while holding a dumbbell or barbell. It’s all about your form and the position of your grip as you do it, though. Do it wrong, and you’re not getting the benefits you should.

Proper squat and press exercises can be great for muscle development, core strength, and endurance.

How to Do a Squat Press with Barbell

To do a squat press using a barbell, make sure you’re using weights that are comfortable for you. You definitely don’t want to start a new exercise you’ve not done before using weights that are heavier than what you’re used to.

Take it easy and slow at first and make sure you understand the form before you start pumping a lot of iron.

When doing the squat press with a barbell, you’re doing what is known as a “thruster”. Hold the barbell in front of you at chest height with your palms facing you. You can turn your palms away, but this is probably more difficult and will put more stress on your wrist.

With your palms facing toward you, you can focus on working your arms. Your feet stance should be about a shoulder width apart and facing forward.

While holding the barbell at your chest, squat down to a point where the top of your thighs hang parallel to the floor. You want to try to squat down as far as you can go without being in discomfort.

squat press barbell

You should try to create tension as you squat, pushing down with your thighs, lower legs, and ankles. If you’re doing this properly, you’ll increase the tension and not move at all. Push up from the squat position as you lift the barbell up to your head, and the barbell should be held at a level with your ears.

Once you reach your full standing position again, you can lower the weights to your chest and repeat the movement.

Squat Press with Dumbbells

If you would prefer to use dumbbells for this exercise, then I show you how to pull it off with those. The movement is very similar, with only a few small changes.

You need the same stance, with your feet about a shoulder length apart, but dumbbells should be held up to your shoulders rather than your chest. You’ll be holding one in each arm on each side of you curled up against your shoulders.

From this position, squat down as far as you can go comfortably. Once again, you’re aiming to have your thighs parallel with the floor. Hold that position for just a second and then rise steadily and gradually.

As you rise, extend the dumbbells up to the sides of your head beside your ears. Hold it there until you return to a standing position and then bring them back down by your shoulders.

squat press

Remember to press down with your ankles, feet, and thighs as you do this exercise. This will create tension and help to work your muscles even more, developing strength in those areas.

This method for how to do a squat press is pretty standard, but there are some variations to it. I’ll share one of those next.

How To Do a Landmine Sumo Squat to Press

The landmine is a great tool for working parts of your body that may not often get work, like the back muscles and triceps. It’s also useful for changing up your workout routine so you can try some different maneuvers, like the landmine sumo squat press.

So, you’ll need a landmine do this exercise. Your stance should be standing at first with your feet just a little wider than a shoulder length apart. Your feet can be facing off to the side of you slightly and not quite facing straight ahead.

From there, squat down and grab the end of the landmine bar with two hands. You want to keep your back as straight as possible as you do this. You should be squatting down to where your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Lift the landmine bar as you rise back to your standing position gradually and steadily. Do not use jerky movements as you do this.


Elbows should be kept locked and straight as much as possible while lifting, and you want to keep your back straight too. You should also be pressing down with your thighs, feet, and legs as you lift.

This is a powerful exercise, and you’ll feel it working your back, shoulders, triceps, thighs, and lower legs.

The Benefits of the Squat and Press

I have showed you how do a squat shoulder press and some variations, and now I would like to talk about why you may want to use this exercise. There are a number of benefits, which I’ve discussed somewhat throughout the article, but let’s focus on what they are.

Once you know how to do a squat and should press, you can use it as a way to mix up your normal workout routine and do something different with your barbell, dumbbell, or landmine.

It’s a great way to make squats even more effective, and these are powerful exercises in their own right, but when you add weights to it, you get great results.

This is an excellent workout addition for anyone who wants to strengthen their thighs and back. It’s good for improving your posture and building up shoulder muscles. Some people take it even further and lift the weights well over their head, but you definitely don’t want to start there.

I prefer the variations I’ve provided where the weights go as high as your ears, because that allows you to do a lot of reps for your exercise session. Lifting the weights over your head would probably wear you out quickly and leave you doing only a few reps.

This is an excellent way to build core strength, as it works a lot of your body at once. It’s one of those workouts that can engage your upper and lower body at the same time and provide powerful results.

Squats typically work the lower body, building up abdominal muscles and thigh muscles and benefit the lower legs. Adding weights can really work the upper portion of your body and turn squats into a full body workout.