Overhead Shoulder press is the staple for building sculpted and well defined shoulders. This move should be performed with both dumbbells and barbells for maximum benefits.
Performing this move properly will help to prevent shoulder problems in the future. If you aren’t seated find a seat. Now sit with torso bent forward, shoulder rounded, and body slouched in the worse possible posture you can demonstrate. Try to raise your arms as though performing an overhead shoulder press. Now, sit up straight with proper posture and do the same. This motion should feel much smoother and cleaner. Although the shoulder is the joint we are focusing on, it’s a combination of body segments working together that create proper motion which leads to our greatest gains in the gym. When things are working like they should, the shoulder joint works with the thoracic spine (upper back) and the scapula (shoulder blades) to produce an efficient motion.
From the chair you are currently sitting in, sit up straight. Place your hands in the position you would normally have them in to perform the shoulder press. Now, slightly move your elbows in the direction you are facing. Now, move them back to where you started from and you will feel the back of your shoulders pinch, as well as, between your shoulder blades. This is the position you want to avoid. Again, move them forward until you feel the pinching sensation eliminated. You should only have to move a few degrees. The position your arms are in now, is the position you should use to perform this move properly.
In a seated position, with proper back support, grab a barbell with the same hand position you would use for bench press. Remove the weight and immediately go into full extension to stabilize the bar. Slowly lower the bar to your chin and return to the full extension position. Repeat this process to failure.
Do not perform an additional set if your body will not allow it. An inability to re – rack your weights could cause serious, and permanent injury.
This exercise can also be performed with dumbbells. Position a dumbbell on each side of the bench you will use to perform the lift. With proper form squat down and lift the weight using a stiff legged dead lifting form. Standing erect place one end of each dumbbell on the corresponding thigh and sit down. In a seated position kick your right leg up (provides momentum) to assist in positioning the weight. As soon as the dumbbell is in position repeat the maneuver with the left side to place the weight in position to lift. Raise the dumbbells, at the same time, over your head to full extension. Slowly lower the weight until your arms break parallel and return to full extension. Repeat as tolerated.
Both dumbbell and barbell shoulder overhead press can be performed. It is not recommended to do so unless your core and low back are completely pain free. When performing a standing overhead lift, be sure to tighten your core, breath properly, wear a lifting belt, and take all precautions to prevent injury.