How To Do Smith Machine Shoulder Press Properly

The smith machine shoulder press as the name suggests, primarily focuses on the shoulder muscles. Additionally, the routine works the arms and triceps.

To execute this technique, you will need an inclined bench and a smith machine.

How to do smith machine shoulder press:

  • Start placing the bench at the center of the smith machine. Adjust the bench so that it inclines to about 80 degrees. Adjust the bar of the smith machine so that it is almost your chest height.
  • Sit on the inclined bench and secure your feet firmly on the floor. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip. Ensure that the distance between your hands is to some degree wider than your shoulder width.
  • Remove the bar from its secured position and suspend it by stretching your arms. This is your starting position.
  • While inhaling lower the bar so it is slightly below your chin. Do this while bending your elbows.
  • Pause fleetingly then raise the bar to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES SMITH MACHINE SHOULDER PRESS WORK?

SHOULDER MUSCLES

The smith machine shoulder press engages the lateral and anterior deltoids. As a result, your shoulder joints become more stable. Therefore, your risk of developing shoulder pain or injury reduces.

TRICEPS

The exercise strengthens and grows your triceps. As you raise and lower the bar, you stretch your triceps. Consequently, they become bigger and well-toned. The routine also plays a vital role in burning underarm fat.

SMITH MACHINE SHOULDER PRESS BENEFITS

IMPROVES APPEARANCE

Performing the exercise correctly and consistently rewards you with an improved upper body appearance. You develop sculpted shoulders, which increases your self-confidence.

PROMOTES UPPER BODY STRENGTH

The main purpose of the exercise is to work your shoulders and triceps. This plays a significant role in promoting upper body strength, which is beneficial for daily activities.

Your quality of life improves since you are able to perform activities that involve lifting, pushing, and pulling with minimal strain. Moreover, your athletic capabilities improve.

Additionally, the exercise strengthens the rotator cuff of your shoulders. This protects your shoulders by minimizing the risk of shoulder injury while performing athletic activities.

ENHANCES SHOULDER STABILITY

The smith machine shoulder press works the deltoids. The deltoids help in promoting stability to the shoulder joints. Stable shoulders are beneficial to your performance at the gym. For instance, the quality of your overhead lifts improves.

PROMOTES MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY

If you are interested in bodybuilding, this is the perfect exercise to include in your workout routine. The exercise exerts constant tension on the shoulder muscles, hence facilitating muscle growth. This contributes to the capped appearance at the top of your arms.

IT IS SAFE

Compared to other shoulder exercises, the smith machine shoulder press is safer. This is because the machine contains inbuilt features, which are user-friendly and safe. Consequently, you avoid unwanted injuries caused by falling objects from the machine. The inclined bench also provides extra support for the back, hence making the exercise suitable for the elderly and beginners.

IMPROVES POSTURE

Performing the exercise consistently promotes a good physique and posture. This helps in preventing back pain. Moreover, it improves your breathing.

ALTERNATIVES TO SMITH MACHINE SHOULDER PRESS

OVERHEAD PRESS

The overhead press is an excellent alternative since it builds stronger shoulders. Moreover, it promotes body stability. To perform this exercise, you will need a barbell and rack. Load the bar with weights that are in line with your endurance levels and fitness requirements.

How to do overhead press:

  • Start by walking to the rack and ensuring that the bar is at your chest level.
  • Grab the bar so that it rests on your palms. Ensure that your elbows point downwards. The distance between your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulder width. Ensure that your forearms and elbows are vertically positioned.
  • Stand tall and maintain a shoulder-width stance. Maintain a straight back and ensure that you are comfortable.
  • Gently remove the bar from the rack and suspend it on your clavicle area. This is your starting position.
  • While looking straight forward, lift the bar upwards in a straight line, over your head by fully stretching your arms. Do it while exhaling.
  • Pause briefly then lower the bar to the starting position.
  • Perform your desired reps and sets. However, do not overdo it.

SMITH MACHINE SHOULDER PRESS MISTAKES TO AVOID

BENDING WRISTS EXCESSIVELY

One of the common mistakes while performing the smith machine shoulder press is hyper-extending your wrists backward. This causes discomfort and prevents from performing the reps correctly. You can avoid this by practicing morbidity exercises to improve your grip strength.

FLARING OUT YOUR ELBOWS

Flaring out your elbows is a dangerous move while performing the routine. This is because it exerts unwanted stress on your shoulders, which could potentially cause injuries. Moreover, flaring your elbows prevents the exercise from engaging your triceps.  Ensure that your elbows stay in proper form throughout the entire exercise.

ARCHING YOUR LOWER BACK

Arching your back can cause injuries. Ensure that you maintain a straight back as you rest on the inclined pad.

INCORRECT GRIP WIDTH

The effectiveness of the exercises depends on staying in a proper position. One of the common mistakes is gripping the bar while the distance between your hands is too close. This prevents you from working your targeted muscles. Moreover, it promotes rigidity in your upper body. To prevent this, ensure that the distance between your hands is nearly wider than your shoulder width.

GOING TOO FAST

Going too fast affects the effectiveness of the routine. This is because you do not fully engage the targeted muscles. To avoid this, ensure that the movement is slow and controlled.

CONCLUSION

The smith machine shoulder press is a great routine to grow and strengthen your shoulder muscles. The exercise is suitable for both beginner and advanced levels. Always consult your fitness trainer so that you get the proper form of executing the exercise. Avoid overdoing the routine since it might strain your muscles.