If you've ever questioned why using a shoulder press isn't giving you your desired results, perhaps some of the below tips will help change that.
This may seem crazy to some of you reading this, but going to the gym can be quite a big deal and also pretty intimidating to some. While we all have the best intentions, some of the equipment can be pretty daunting. We may not know how to use a certain machine and therefore don't want to run the risk of giving it our best guess, getting it very wrong, and everyone else in the gym looking at us as if we're from another planet.
Hopefully, this article will take away at least a little of that stress. Some personal trainers recently divulged some tips to GQ on how to get the most out of one of the most popular, but also one of the most misused, pieces of gym equipment, the shoulder press. If you do use it, there is a high probability that you're using it wrong and perhaps not getting the most out of the machine.
First up, sit before you stand. One personal trainer told GQ that he often sees people doing the standing shoulder press and not getting the most out of it because they are using too much weight. It's best to sit down and use a bench with a high incline, to begin with. Once you've got that down, then you can stand, however, make sure you're not overdoing it when it comes to the weight you're lifting.
Speaking of sitting, and how to sit, here's a pretty basic one. It's important though. Be sure not to arch your back while performing a seated shoulder press. That can lead to lower back pain. Again, stick with a lower weight if you find yourself arching your back. Also be sure to only lower the handles so that they are parallel with your ears. Any further than that and you could develop shoulder problems over a period of time.
Last but certainly not least, watch the position of your wrists. Make sure that your knuckles are facing forward and drive the elbows so that they are an inch or two in front of the barbell. It should feel like you are reaching rather than pressing, despite the name of the machine/activity. Practice that and all of the above then you will hopefully start to notice a difference in your shoulders and should feel confident when using the shoulder press.