Machine Shoulder Press
Primary Muscle Group: Deltoids
Secondary Muscle Group: Triceps, Traps
Equipment Needed: Shoulder Press Machine
The Benefits of Machine Shoulder Press
The Machine Shoulder Press is a popular exercise for building both muscle mass and strength in the shoulders. The triceps also work hard as a secondary in this lift & It is a variation of the seated barbell shoulder press.
Lifters would use the shoulder press machine as a way to perform the pressing movement pattern with a focus on isolating the deltoids. You are able to get a better isolated movement with a machine due to its fixed movement pattern.
The machine shoulder press is best added towards the end of your shoulder workout if you are training for hypertrophy, after you’ve used other more compound variations to work your push muscles.
Some key benefits to the machine shoulder press exercise are;
Builds size and strength in the anterior and medial deltoids
Machine allows for controlled reps and strict form
Other muscles worked are the posterior deltoids, traps, and upper chest.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Machine Shoulder Press
The mechanics of the exercise can put you at risk of injuring yourself. Because of the fixed movement path the machine takes, your rotator cuffs can be at risk of serious damage in both the long and short term. You can lower the risk of injury by warming up and giving yourself time to adjust to the movement. You should also include more free weight exercises in your workout routine.
How To Do Machine Shoulder Press
1. Assume a seated position in the machine with the handles set at roughly shoulder height.
2. Grab the handles with a pronated or neutral grip.
3. Inhale and press directly overhead.
4. Slowly lower the handles back to the starting position.
5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
For Perfect Technique
Don’t allow the head to move forward excessively.
Drive the bicep to the ear and exhale as you press.
If you sense any pressure in your neck or traps during the movement, look to address a lack of thoracic spine extension or shoulder flexion.
Keeping the elbows slightly bent at the top and not locking out entirely will help to keep tension on the shoulders.
If you can’t lock out the elbows overhead than it may indicate a lack of shoulder mobility due to poor scapular upward rotation.
Once you have mastered the Machine Shoulder Press you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Plate Front Raises
1. Start by standing upright and your back straight with your arms slightly bent.
2. Keeping your back straight and your elbows slightly bent, exhale as you raise the plate out in front of you in an arcing motion until your arms are parallel with the floor.
3. Hold for a second at the top of the movement.
4. Inhale as you lower the plate in a controlled manner to the starting position.
How To Do Behind The Head Shoulder Press
1. Sit with the barbell across your traps. Plant your feet on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
2. Grip the bar, hands wider than shoulder-width and palms facing forward. Brace your core and squeeze your shoulder blades together, keeping your elbows under the bar.
3. Exhale and press the bar straight up, lining it up with your head. Pause.
4. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position.