Shoulder Press

  • Area Served: Northern California
  • docs to perform:Guarav Abbi


The shoulder press provides the most benefit to the shoulders, upper back and triceps. To perform this exercise, you’ll need some equipment, such as a dumbbell, barbell or professional gym equipment like the shoulder-press machine. The exercise is one way to build muscle mass and increase endurance while targeting the triceps.

In order to perform the shoulder press correctly, firmly grip the dumbbell in both of your hands and sit on a chair or on a bench with some back support. Place your feet flat on the ground at hip-width apart. Then, bend your elbow, raise your upper arms in line with your shoulder making a 90-degree angle and align the dumbbell straight at ear level. Flex your abdomen inward to prevent slouching. Carry on pushing the dumbbells upward and inward until the dumbbells reach each other, then push them directly over your head and back-to-ear level by lowering the dumbbells.

Maintain a h3 seated position while performing the shoulder press to improve poor posture. Keep in mind that when you do this exercise, the first repetition may feel different because your arms have no stretch reflex. It could feel like your arms are straining but as go on with two or more repetitions, the strain will go away as your arms are in motion and you’re working with a little momentum.


The muscles that the shoulder press targets are the triceps, biceps and several back muscles.

The shoulder press helps to stabilize the upper back and the shoulder blades when you push and pull the dumbbells. Your shoulder blades also benefit from the backward and inward movement of this workout while your triceps and biceps become toned and strengthened as you push and to pull the dumbbells. This exercise helps to build mass in the arms. This workout also helps to prevent shoulder strain and pain by building up the muscles in this part of the body to better endure heavy lifting and other exercises.

Sets and Repetitions

A variation of the shoulder press exercise is the Bradford press. It involves the same movements except that you will lower the bar at the back of your head by bending your elbows at the top. Once the bar is behind your head, press the bar back up in order to target the deltoids.

Beginners should complete three to four sets with 12 repetitions in each set as long as it’s comfortable, while the advanced can carry out four to five sets of 12 repetitions. When your body becomes familiar with the shoulder press, add weight for a challenge.

Instagram Video

Here is an Instagram video that demonstrates the shoulder press with a shoulder-press machine.

Related Amazon Product Links

This product is a set of dumbbells with a wide range of weights from two to 20 lbs.

Top Performance Metrics

Some training enthusiasts have taken extremes in executing the shoulder press, such as Manuel Herlo, who is able to perform the shoulder press using a 130 kg stone.

Related Movements

Here are some exercises to be used with the shoulder press to encourage faster and better results.

  • Push-up
  • Pull-up
  • Push press
  • Lunge

Related Foods

Below is a list of pre-workout snacks to consume 30 minutes to one hour before starting the shoulder press:

  • Whole grain cereal with almond milk
  • Oatmeal with fresh fruits or raisins or plums
  • Quinoa or rice cakes
  • Smoothie

Here are some post-workout snacks to consider to after the shoulder press:

  • Hummus with asparagus and carrot
  • Boiled eggs with brown rice
  • Protein shakes or protein bar
  • Low-fat chocolate milk

YouTube Video

Here is a YouTube video that provides lecture on how to perform the shoulder press using a dumbbell.

Celebrity Use

The shoulder press is one of Jason Derulo’s favorite workouts, together with push-ups, bicep curls and ab rollouts. Jason complements his workouts with a healthy diet of organic food and lean protein.

Functional Use

Benefits of completing the shoulder press often include increased strength, stability, physical power and endurance. Your bones will also get h3er, diminishing risks of osteoporosis or other diseases that result in brittle bones. As an added bonus, shoulder presses can improve posture, eliminating the bad habit of slouching.

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