The shoulder press is an upper body exercise which has many variations to work the muscles which stabilise the shoulder. It can also be used with other movements to create more of a cardio exercise. As always, correct technique for the shoulder press is important to avoid injury, when executed correctly, it can be a great tool for improving shoulder stability.
- Start with your feet shoulder width apart, or in a staggered stance to avoid using the back too much.
- Hands start on your shoulders with palms forwards
- Engage your core for good posture
- Raise your hands up towards the ceiling, keeping your palms forwards
- Your hands should meet above your head
- Then slowly bring your hands back down to your shoulders
- Depends whether you are working for strength or stability
- For strength use low reps and more sets
- For stability use high reps and less sets
Key technique points:
- Don’t arch your back
- To iron out instabilities use two weights, one in each hand
- Use a bend in the knees to help get the weights up if needed
- Control the whole movement on the way down, should be slow
When you are able to easily complete each variation then move onto the next, however, if you are unable to control the movement then take a step back.
- Kneeling shoulder press takes away your ability to use your legs
- Hold kettlebells upside down to challenge stability
- Combine with another exercise to add a cardio element
It is always better to be able to perform an exercise with correct execution at an easier level then poor form at a harder level. Poor technique creates an injury risk – particularly in the lower back for core exercises.
- Lighter weights
- Using one weight in both hands
- Use a theraband instead of weights