Smith Machine Shoulder Press
Primary Muscle Group: Deltoids
Secondary Muscle Group: Upper Chest, Triceps
Equipment Needed: Smith Machine, Weight Plates
The Benefits of Smith Machine Shoulder Press
The Smith Machine shoulder press is a machine-based exercise targeting the deltoid muscles. The Smith machine mimics a barbell but provides more stability and is a safer option if you don’t have a training partner to spot you. This movement can be done with low reps for strength or higher reps for muscle and strength endurance. It is often performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps per set or more, as part of a shoulder or upper-body focused workout.
Some key benefits of the smith machine are;
1. Adds size and strength to the shoulders
2. Can press intensely without fear of dropping the bar
3. The bar moves on a track making it easier to get into position and control
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 Smith Machine Shoulder Press
The Smith Machine Shoulder Press does come with some risks to being injured if not taken with some level of caution. The main threat comes down to the unnatural range of motion that the machine has vs what you see in the free-weight barbell press. With this said, to lower the risks, you should warm up and perform this exercise in a controlled way.
How To Do Smith Machine Shoulder Press
1. Set up for the smith machine shoulder press by setting a bench down in the smith machine and adjusting the back to a 90 degree angle.
2. Now sit down on the bench and adjust the position so that the bar comfortably comes down just in front of your face.
3. Next, add the weight you want to use and sit down on the bench.
4. Un-rack the weights and bend your elbows slightly. This is the starting position for the movement.
5. Slowly lower the weight down until the bar is just below chin height, pause, and then raise the bar back to the starting position without locking your elbows out at the top of the movement.
For Perfect Technique
The smith machine shoulder press is a good option for moving heavy weight without a training partner to spot you.
Don't lock your elbows slightly bent at the top of the movement in order to keep the tension on your deltoids.
Always warm up first to lower your risk of shoulder injury.
Always lower the bar below your chin to complete the full range of motion.
Once you have mastered the Smith Machine Shoulder Press you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do A 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.
How To Do A Dumbbell Shoulder Press
1. First, select your dumbbells that will challenge you during your set.
2. Hold the dumbbells by your shoulders with your palms facing forwards and your elbows out to the sides and bent at a 90° angle.
3. Without leaning back, extend through your elbows to press the weights above your head.
4. Then slowly return to the starting position.