To shoulder a barbell is to get it in place by one shoulder. It is a setup for a one-handed barbell lift which includes the bent press but could also be used for side or push presses or jerks.
You don’t often see shouldering a barbell anymore. This is because few people engage in one arm lifts of barbells period. But that doesn’t mean this oldtime lift can’t be a great one to do.
• Make sure your collars can hold the weight when the barbell is vertical.
• Line up your hand in the center of the barbell. Being off a bit can throw the whole exercise off. For this reason, I mark the center of my barbell with a piece of tape to make it easy to find.
• Rest the barbell against the trap and support from there. While a light weight can be manhandled into place, a heavy weight needs this extra support, so it is best to begin with the technique right from the start.
• Avoid the barbell resting on the collarbone or shoulder bones. It’s painful!
• The other arm goes as far down the barbell as possible, lifting from there.
• Squat down as much as possible to get the barbell in place then stand up.
This is a full-body exercise with emphasis on core stability, with a good amount of leg work too.
Like this exercise? Find many more like it inside of Deceptive Strength: Becoming Strong While Staying Small.