Shoulder Press: Overhead / Military Press Exercise
The shoulder press is the best way to bulk up and tone your shoulders. The shoulder press, or Overhead / Military Press, as it is also known, also works your traps and triceps. You can use barbells, dumbbells, or use your body weight as part of a cardio workout. With weights, keep them in front of you for this exercise, don’t lift them behind your head. This exercise specifically focuses on the anterior portion of your shoulders.
- Main Muscle Used: Shoulders
- Secondary Muscles: Traps, Triceps
- Equipment Required: Dumbbell, Band, or Barbell
- Movement: Compound
- Exercise Type: Push
Here is a great video explanation of how to do the Shoulder Press:
To do the Overhead / Military Press Exercise:
- Stand with your feet more than shoulder-width apart, (a bit tighter for Military Press).
- Exhale, as you lift the barbell or dumbbells above your head.
- Lock your shoulders out briefly, then inhale as you bring the weight back down to starting position.
Shoulder Press Variations
- Use a narrow grip with low reps to work the bulkier, closer section of your shoulder.
- Use a wide grip with high reps, if you are going for definition and toning.
Popular Shoulder Press Workout:
- The Rock workout, aka Dwayne Johnson, does the Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press. He loves this exercise because it works all three shoulder muscles at once.
- The Kim Kardashian workout uses overhead press to tone her shoulders. This makes her waistline look smaller, in comparison.
- The Lady Gaga workout uses shoulder presses during her upper body workouts. She does bicep curls, then transitions right into shoulder press. It is common for Lady Gaga to start with a seated shoulder press.
- The Daniel Craig workout uses shoulder presses to fill in those suits that James Bond likes to wear.
- The Megan Fox workout also uses the shoulder press, as she works out with Harley Pasternack.
- The Halle Berry workout uses the shoulder press, when training for Catwoman.
- The Katy Perry workout uses the shoulder press, as she also works out with Harley Pasternack.
- The Eva Mendez workout uses this exercise during her 5-factor workouts.
- The Marisa Miller workout, Candice Swanepoel workout, and Miranda Kerr workout all use the resistance band shoulder press. Resistance bands allow you to tone your shoulders, no matter where you’re traveling. This is great for Victoria’s secret models, who are always on the go.
- The Jennifer Garner workout includes circuit training. She does Bent-Over Rows, Dumbbell Bench Press, Two Arm Row, Dumbbell Flys, Shoulder Press, and Triceps Kickbacks.
- The Ryan Reynolds workout uses this exercise, while seated.
- The Jay-Z workout, and the Beyonce workout, both use the Shoulder Press. Because their trainer, Marco Borges, likes to incorporate multiple joints, he had them do bicep curls into the shoulder press exercise.
Harley Pasternack, a celebrity personal trainer, has his clients do the seated shoulder press. He wants them to have a mental cue, while doing the exercise. He says:
Reach for the ceiling, as if you’re cheering for your favorite team.
Marco Borges, Jay-Z and Beyonce workout trainer, says that when doing the bicep curl into the shoulder press:
Curl the dumbbells up to the chest, then press up above your chest. Keep your movement fluid and smooth from the first step through the last.
Also, you can get your hips and knees involved in this exercise. On an incline bench, perform your normal routine. In addition, raise your legs until they’re tucked into your body. Lower your legs as you lower the dumbbells.
Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press
A popular version of the Shoulder press is the Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press. Here’s a video illustrating to you how to do the Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press:
Resistance Band Shoulder Press
The Resistance Band Shoulder Press is great if you can’t get to the gym. With resistance bands, you can work your shoulders from anywhere.
Kettlebell Shoulder Press Variations:
You can also do the shoulder press using kettlebells. Don’t mind the dogs, throughout the video!
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