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Fact checked by Andrew Lenau, ISSA CPT & Sports NutritionistFACT CHECKED
The shoulder press is a staple exercise in strength and conditioning programs for people looking to build some serious size on their shoulders. The Smith Machine Shoulder Press is a variation of the traditional shoulder press, literally on rails. This variant is praised for its ability to target the delts effectively while offering stability and safety.
In this article, we'll delve into the methodology of performing the Smith Machine Shoulder Press, identify the muscles it works, and compare it with other shoulder press variations such as the barbell, dumbbell, and machine shoulder presses.
Table of Contents:
Below is a simple step-by-step explanation on how you can correctly perform the Smith Machine shoulder press.
This overhead press predominantly works the following muscles:
We'll touch on why you would want to add these to your workout regimen and also some not great aspects of this exercise.
Yes, it absolutely is. While it doesn't follow the natural path of extending your arms over your head, it can be a great way to focus on using your deltoids to do most of the work, ultimately leading to a better mind-muscle connection.
The most popular way is obviously the Smith machine shoulder press, which puts the majority of the load on your front delts, but there are ways to put the focus on your lateral deltoid and rear deltoid.
We like the Smith Machine lateral raise to hit the (duh) lateral delt. The rear delt row on a Smith machine is a movement that doesn't get enough attention and is a great way to hit those often overlooked posterior caps.
The angle of your bench should be set to 90º or as close to it as possible. Once the incline angle decreases, the more upper chest will be brought into the movement.
This is not as cut and dry as yes or no. Overhead presses, both barbell, and dumbbell, are great ways to drive shoulder development, along with the many stabilizer muscles in that area. But, the risk of injury is higher when dealing with free weights.
Using a Smith machine or dedicated shoulder press machine can be a great way for beginners or those recovering from injury to help build up shoulder strength with minimal risk when performed correctly.
The Smith Machine Shoulder Press is a valuable exercise for those focusing on shoulder development, offering a safe and controlled environment. However, its benefits come with trade-offs, particularly in the realms of functional strength and joint stress.
For a well-rounded shoulder development program, incorporating different variations of shoulder presses is recommended. This approach ensures a balance between muscle growth, functional strength, and joint health. As with any exercise, prioritizing proper form and technique is paramount to reaping the maximum benefits while minimizing the risk of injury.
In conclusion, the Smith Machine Shoulder Press stands as an effective tool in the arsenal of shoulder exercises. Its ability to provide stability and focus on shoulder muscles makes it a favorite among many gym enthusiasts.
However, understanding its limitations and complementing it with other forms of shoulder presses ensures a comprehensive approach to shoulder training. Remember, variety is key in any training program, and incorporating different exercises can lead to better overall muscular development and performance.
If you're looking to add a Smith machine to your home gym, check out our list of the Best Smith Machines.
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