Corner Press

How To Do A Corner Press And Half Kneeling Corner Press
By Alli McKeeFebruary 18, 2016

Corner Press Exercise

The barbell corner press, or sometimes referred to as the landmine press, is a fantastic overhead barbell press option for people who might not otherwise be able to perform overhead presses due to the inability to extend their arms overhead without arching their lower back, or shrugging their shoulders. This exercise strengthens the musculature of the shoulders, chest, triceps, and the anterior core.

Equipment needed:

A barbell should be used for this exercise. A traditional barbell may be used, and to increase the resistance, lifters may add weight plates to each side. Some gyms have fixed weight barbells which are shorter than a traditional barbell and the resistance is not adjustable. These fixed weight barbells often increase in resistance by 5-10 pounds (50 lbs, 55 lbs, 60 lbs, 65 lbs, and so on). Also, some gyms have barbells that weigh 35 lbs, and occasionally less.

In terms of anchoring the bar, you can wedge it into a corner, hence the name corner press, or you can wedge it between two weight plates. You can also use an actual corner press apparatus where the barbell slides into the apparatus.

Ability level:


The single arm corner press might be too advanced for women of a beginner fitness level. If this is the case, you can opt for the double arm variation where you press the barbell with two arms versus one. You can also perform this exercise using a lighter barbell, if there is one available.


The corner barbell press is a great option for lifters with an intermediate level of experience. If an upper body pushing workout is being performed, the corner press can be paired with a pulling exercise. If a full-body workout is being performed, the corner press can be paired with a lower body compound movement, or an upper body pulling movement. You can also make it part of a conditioning circuit, and can even perform a corner press conditioning complex. Intermediate lifters might perform 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps/arm of the corner press.


Women who are comfortable with the corner press can perform this exercise in a half kneeling stance. This variation is much more challenging on the muscles of the anterior core and also glutes. Women of an advanced fitness level may also choose to use this variation, as well as increase their weight/resistance for multiple sets (2-4+), and fewer reps (6-8/arm). The corner press may also be used as part of a conditioning circuit. Women can also make this exercise more challenging by performing negative corner presses and lowering the bar in 3-5 seconds as this increases the eccentric component of the movement, or they can add band/chain resistance to the barbell.

Benefits of Corner Presses:

How a woman chooses to use a corner press is highly dependent on her overall technical ability and experience, how much weight is being used, the set/rep scheme used, where it falls in the workout, what it’s paired with, and what the rest periods are. In general, corner presses can be used to do any or all of the following:

  • increasing upper body strength, primarily in the chest, shoulders and triceps
  • increasing core strength
  • building muscle
  • fat loss (if your diet and exercise routines are conducive to fat loss)
  • conditioning (if used as part of conditioning circuits)

How to perform a Corner Press:

  • Wedge a barbell into a corner, or between two weight plates.
  • Pick up the weight by hinging your hips back.
  • Get into a square stance. Your knees should be slightly bent, and you should a slight forward lean in your torso. Adopt a tripod foot base, meaning, your weight should be on the mid/back of your feet, and all of your toes should remain in contact with the ground, particularly your big and baby toes.
  • When you are in the starting position, your arm should be kept tight to your side, and in line with your arm pit.
  • Before you perform each press, take a deep breath into your belly (360 degrees of air around your spine), brace your core (I like to pretend that I am about to block a soccer ball with my stomach), lightly tuck your rib cage towards your hips (close the space in your midsection), and squeeze your glutes.
  • Now press the barbell up, and row it back down with your lat to the starting position. The barbell and your arm should remain in line with your armpit the entire time. If your arm travels away from the midline of your body, it places your shoulder in a vulnerable position, and this should be avoided.
  • When you press the barbell, extend your elbow, but do not hyperextend it. Keep your shoulder down, and do not shrug the weight, as this is a pressing movement.
  • Exhale after you have pressed the bar and it is moving away from your body.
  • Reset and repeat for the desired number of reps.

Video Transcription: 

The corner press is one of my favorite overhead pressing variations, especially for people that don’t have the range of motion to bring their arms all the way overhead without arching their lower back.  As you can see here, I have a barbell wedged in between two plates on the ground.  Some gyms have an apparatus where you can slide the barbell into a holster. The other option, the reason why this is called a corner press, is that you can stick the barbell in the corner of the room and wrap it in a towel so you don’t ruin the wall and do it that way.  

So you are going to pick up the weight properly by hinging back into your hips and you are going to hold the barbell in one hand so that your thumb is pointing towards your shoulder. You might have to play around with your spacing a little bit.  Your core is going to be braced, you are going to be slightly leaning forward and you are just going to drive the weight overhead. Make sure you press it up and then row it back down with your lat to control it, press it up and then row it back down with your lat to control it.

You can also do this exercise from the half kneeling position. To get in half kneeling it's exactly what it sounds like: you have one knee on the ground and the other foot flat on the floor. Now you can be pressing the weight overhead from the same side that the knee is up, or the side that is down.  I’m going to show you what it looks like to press on the same side that the knee is up.  Again, you are going to play around with spacing a little bit, make sure you are nice and tall. your rib cage is down, driving the weight up. This adds an extra element of core stability to the exercise. Row it back down with the lat, and that’s the corner press and half kneeling corner press!



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About the author:  Alli McKee

Alli is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She's contributed to and modeled for a number of major publications including Oxygen magazine and the New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged. You can find out more about Alli on her personal blog at

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