- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredMachine
- Force TypePush
- Experience LevelBeginner
- Secondary Muscles
Smith Machine Shoulder Press Overview
The Smith machine shoulder press is a variation of the barbell shoulder press and is used to strengthen the muscles of the shoulders.
Utilizing a Smith machine will ensure the bar path remains in a fixed position, eliminating some of the need to stabilize during the exercise. It's also a viable option for moving heavy weight without a spotter.
The overhead press is a foundational movement for establishing baseline strength and building a completely balanced physique.
Smith Machine Shoulder Press Instructions
- Place an adjustable bench in the Smith machine and adjust the back to a 90-degree angle.
- Adjust the bar to around eye level and load the desired weight on the bar.
- Position your hands around shoulder-width apart and unrack the bar using a pronated grip. This is the starting position for the movement.
- Press the bar overhead by extending the elbows and contracting the deltoids.
- Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position (the arms should be roughly 90 degrees or slightly lower depending on limb lengths).
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Smith Machine Shoulder Press Tips
- Don’t allow the head to jut forward excessively.
- Drive the bicep to the ear and exhale as you press.
- If you sense any pressure in your neck or traps during the movement, look to address a lack of thoracic spine extension or shoulder flexion.
- If you can’t lock out the elbows overhead then it may indicate a lack of shoulder mobility due to poor scapular upward rotation.