The kneeling shoulder press is a great upper body strength exercise with an extra core challenge. It can be an alternative to the traditional shoulder press, and can also be performed seated. The exercise mainly targets the deltoid muscles while also developing strength and stability in the core.
It can be used as an accessory lift for the bench press or shoulder press, or even as an alternate technique to make them stricter and more athletic.
Even though you aren’t technically sitting while performing this exercise, doing shoulder work in a kneeling position offers many similar benefits as seated shoulder presses. The only difference is that in seated shoulder presses, the core is not involved but being in a kneeling position requires some core stabilization.
If you have access to a landmine attachment, you can also do kneeling landmine presses. The kneeling shoulder press and kneeling landmine presses can keep your shoulders and back safe, unlike the barbell press. This is because with these variations, you do not need to press strictly overhead in a vertical position. Instead, all you need is to press at a 150-to-160-degree angle which is not as taxing on the shoulder joint.
Moreover, the kneeling shoulder press allows you to easily engage your core, glutes and lats. This helps to stabilize the weight and provides a safer position.
HOW TO DO KNEELING SHOULDER PRESS
Here are the steps to properly do the movement:
- Select your preferred dumbbell weight then adopt a kneeling position on the floor. Use a kneeling pad to avoid unnecessary discomfort on your knees.
- Lift the weights with both hands and clean them to your shoulders. You should start with a neutral grip with your palms in.
- Ensure you keep your head up, shoulders back and spine neutral. This will be your starting position.
- Initiate the movement by extending your arms, and flexing and abducting your shoulders to rotate the arms as you press overhead.
- Hold your breath for a while, then reverse the movement in order to return to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
WHAT MUSCLES ARE WORKED IN KNEELING SHOULDER PRESS
The shoulder muscles also known as the deltoids, are the primary target and drivers of this movement.
Triceps are another muscle group worked using this movement. They are often forgotten in favor of the biceps, which are located at the front of the upper arm. Triceps are located at the back of the upper arm and on the opposite side of the biceps. Strengthening and we defining the triceps using this exercise, will make the arm look bigger and sleeker.
Engaging the core is important to maintain stability.
HIPS, BACK AND UPPER LEGS
The hips, back, upper legs and torso are also secondary muscles that are worked in order to stabilize the body in a-kneeling position.
KNEELING SHOULDER PRESS BENEFIT
BUILD CORE STRENGTH
The movement is a type of an overhead press, which is a foundation upper body strength movement. This free weight movement requires pressing a dumbbell weight overhead, placing an increased demand on the core muscles in order to stabilize the load. Proper alignment and core muscle engagement affords this stability.
TRAIN SEVERAL MUSCLES
The exercise trains multiple upper and lower body muscles. The chest and triceps are the upper body muscles engaged alongside the shoulders. Further, since the movement is done in a kneeling position, the lower leg does not provide any stability. Thus, more emphasis is placed on the upper leg and hips as stabilizers.
The movement also helps to strengthen and build the size of the deltoids and triceps. Toned arms. While strength training the shoulder muscles has more benefits than the aesthetics of toned arms, it’s a nice add!
PREVENT SHOULDER INJURIES
The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body. However, because of this range of motion, it is also an unstable joint. This instability increases joint injury risk which often leads to a degenerative process where tissues break down and no longer function. Therefore, strengthening the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint provides more stability, and can reduce potential injury.
KNEELING SHOULDER PRESS ALTERNATIVES
SINGLE ARM HALF KNEELING DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS
Doing the single-arm half kneeling dumbbell shoulder press helps you target upper-body muscle imbalances. Performing the exercise in front of the mirror, helps you identify which arm is stronger and you’ll be able to feel which side is weaker.
CABLE SHOULDER PRESS
The cable shoulder press is quite similar beneficially as the kneeling shoulder press. First you need to select the proper weight and then move the cables to the bottom of the tower. Grab the cables and hold them at shoulder height with your palms facing forward. Ensure to keep your head and chest up. Now extend through the elbow to press one side directly above your head. Pause at the top of the motion, then return to the initial position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.
SEATED DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS
The seated dumbbell shoulder press is a popular exercise for building and strengthening the shoulder muscles. This lift also works the triceps. As discussed earlier, while doing the shoulder press many lifters prefer using dumbbells to barbells as they are more comfortable and shoulder-friendly. When doing an upper body routine or shoulder day, this could be your primary pressing movement or an effective accessory movement later in the workout.
KNEELING SHOULDER PRESS MISTAKES TO AVOID
If you do not use proper execution and progression of the movement, you risk injuries of the lower back, the arms and the shoulders. Always use the correct form or ask an experts advise while attempting the exercise.
If you are a beginner, do not start with heavy dumbbell weights. You should always start with light resistance and focus on practicing good form first.
Do not get tempted to lose tightness around your core and lean into it or sag through your back Keep good alignment throughout the movement to maximize on the benefits.
The movement is quite simple and beneficial to build upper body strength. All you need to do is begin with a lighter weight and focus on maintaining the correct form and control.