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How to Get Toned Shoulders With Shoulder Press Workout?

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Every gym goers works hard to strengthen and bring the shoulders into the shape. They perform different exercise for to achieve their goal. A sharp shoulders seem to be very attractive and provides right fitting of clothes. So, most of the people pay more attention to chests, biceps and shoulder muscles. So, here we will tell you some famous shoulder press exercise with proper technique through which you can get toned and muscular shoulders.

Its regular practice can help you to get large, heavy and shaped shoulders. Here at the same time, we will also tell you what precautions you should take while doing these exercise.

What is a Shoulder Press?

Exercises with the help of barbell and dumbbell to shape the largest part of the shoulder and bring it to the round shape or to hit the deltoid muscles and front shoulders is called the shoulder press workout.

The shoulder muscles are attached to the scapula, humerus and collarbone. It gives you proper outer shape of shoulder muscles.

Shoulders are basically divided into three parts. those are;

1. Anterior or Front Shoulder.
2. Lateral or Outer Shoulder.
3. Rear Delt or Back Shoulder.

Shoulder press exercise is the best exercise for overall shoulders. It put tension on the shoulder’s deltoid, rear Deltoid and triceps. It is also considered to be the best exercise for upper body strength and muscle building. This exercise includes more than one muscles. So, it can also be called compound exercise. This exercises also strengthen and widen the shoulders.

What Muscles Do Shoulder Press Work?

The muscles works are mainly anterior deltoid, but it will also work for muscles like triceps, pecs and trapezius.

Shoulder Press Machine.

Its not required any heavy or advance machines. You can also do this exercise with barbell, coated plates or dumbbells.

There is no need for a separate machine. If you are a beginner, you can also use smith machine to make barbell balance. Some gyms also have a special machine for shoulder press exercise.

Read Now: 10 Essential Variations of Push Ups with Steps.

Types of Shoulder Press Workout for Toned Shoulders.

You can do shoulder press exercise in two ways. Sitting on the bench and standing;

  • Barbell Military Press.
  • Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press.
  • Dumbbell Arnold Shoulder Press.
  • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press.
  • Dumbbell Neutral Grip Shoulder Press.
  • Javelin Press.
  • Bottom-up Press.

How To Perform Barbell Military Press?

Barbell Military Press
Barbell Military Press

Step 1.

To perform barbell military press exercise, you have to stand near the Smith machine after stretching and apply weight according to your capacity in the barbell. Hook the barbell on the 2 inch outside the shoulder level and breathe long.

Step 2.

Therefore, take the barbell up with the help of the shoulder and hold for 1 second and bring it back to the initial position. It will be called a rep.

Step 3.

Now hold the barbell half a second near the chin and take it up again. In this way, perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps according to your capacity.

Keep in mind that, when you bring the barbell down, release the breath out and drag the breath inward while raising upwards.

Read Now: Tabata Workout Training and Its Health Benefits
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

.Step 1.

At first stand straight and hold the dumbbells in both hands.

Step 2.

Now, press the dumbbell upwards with the help of your shoulders by standing in a place without moving your hips, feet and core etc.

Step 3.

While doing this you must keep some gap between your legs to make a balance. In this way, perform 4 sets of 10-12 reps according to your capacity. You can also increase the weight according to your ability.

Dumbbell Arnold Shoulder Press.

Dumbbell Arnold Shoulder Press
Dumbbell Arnold Shoulder Press

This exercise has been named upon Hollywood actors and the famous bodybuilder “Arnold Schwarzenegger”.

Step 1.

While doing this workout, you must keep in mind that your palms are inward after you bring down.

Step 2.

At the same time, you have to keep the position of the hands like the overhead press while moving up.

Step 3.

Do not take more weight while doing this at the outset, as doing so can hurt your shoulder. You should perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps according to your ability.

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press.

This exercise is similar to the standing dumbbell shoulder press, just you have to use the seat and press the shoulder and an effective exercise for toned shoulders.

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Step 1.

At first take a seat or you can use a ticking bench in which you will also get support from the back of the shoulder and you will be able to lift the heavy weight.

Step 2.

Now, Press the dumbbell overhead parallel to the shoulder and engage your shoulder muscle.

Do not lift heavy weight initially while pressing the shoulder, otherwise you may get hurt. First understand the right posture from the trainer and then try it.

Dumbbell Neutral Grip Shoulder Press.

While doing shoulder press, many people feel pain while rotating the outer shoulders, so majority of athletes or powerlifters prefer dumbbell neutral grip shoulder press exercise.

Dumbbell Neutral Grip Shoulder Press
Dumbbell Neutral Grip Shoulder Press Image Source: Neutral Grip Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

However, it reduces tension, but still you can feel the load up to 80 per cent by pushing the weight.

Javelin Press.

Javelin Press
Javelin Press

It is one of the challenging exercise and similar like overhead press but with one hand. Here your grip position will be similar like javelin thrower.

Step 1.

Stand straight and take a barbell without any weight.

Step 2.

Now, push the barbell overhead with full range of motion and try to engage interior part of the shoulder.

Step 3.

Repeat the same with other hand. Do 3 set with 10-12 repetition.

Bottom-up Press. 

It is an effective exercise for shoulders. Apart from that it also strengthen your grips. However, it required a kettlebell.

Bottom-up Press
Bottom-up Press Image Source: Bottoms-Up Kettlebell Press

Step 1.

Stand straight and hold a kettlebell with your hand.

Step 2.

Keep your glutes, core and back straight.

Step 3.

Now, push the kettlebell vertically upward with the help of shoulders and lats.

It is recommended to start with light weight initially and focus more on technique.

Benefits of Shoulder Press Exercise.

  • This exercise has engage more than one muscle group at once.
  • This exercise does not require much space and can do it anywhere. If you don’t go to the gym and you have a barbell or dumbbell at home, you can also do it at home.
  • Doing this increases the strength of your shoulder and also strengthens its muscle.
  • While doing this, there is a lot of tension and a large amount of muscles are brake. So, we can say that it is a very good exercise for the shoulders.
  • Apart from the shoulders it also strengthen your grip, bicep and triceps.
Read Now: 13 Health Benefits of Hot Water Bath after Workout

Mistakes During Military Press Exercise.

  • Many people do not breathe while doing this exercise, which is a big mistake. You should take special care, that the more accurate your breathing is, the more weight you will be able to lift.
  • While doing the standing shoulder press, people band the lower back, which is very wrong. This can put unnecessary load on your spine. So always keep your back straight.
  • Keep the hips is normal position, as bending or reversing them forward can put the load on your lumbar spine.
  • Some people make wrong positions during heavy weight lifting that may hurt their shoulder ligament. So, always try to lift weight according to your ability.
  • If you hold the grip more close or more wide, your position may be messed up. And you will know that the right position matters rather than lifting more weight.
Read Now: How Many Days to Workout to Stay Fit

Frequently Asked Question.

1. Is shoulder press a pull or push workout?

This exercise basically engage muscles groups of shoulder, biceps, triceps, back and forearms. However, during pull workouts such as pull ups, deadlifts and rows are engage mainly front part of the body. On the other hand push workout engage triceps, chest and shoulders. So, we can say that this exercise is a push workout as it engage the same muscle groups while we doing push workouts.

2. Why does my shoulder hurt when I bench press?

Shoulder gets hurt often while bench press is due to strain of the rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscle is a set of 4 muscles which moves the shoulder. All these 4 muscles are attached to the front of the shoulder which is the main cause of pain.

Bottom Line.

The information above has given you a lot of understanding of how to do shoulder press exercise for toned shoulders. But take special care of your posture or you may ask your trainer about the right position while doing this workout.

If you get stretch or hurt in the muscles, you should immediately tell your trainer so that they can give you the right advice.

+2 Sources

Freaktofit has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, educational research institutes, and medical organizations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policy.

  1. 8 Ways To Make Your Rear Delts Roar;
  2. Lumbar Spine Anatomy and Pain;

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