Shoulder Press – Exercise of the Week
The shoulder press machine allows you to focus on a smaller, but still majorly important, muscle group. It is important to not neglect the shoulders in favour of bigger muscles groups like the arms, legs, back and chest etc. as the shoulders are a key area in terms of overall movement, function and strength. Here we show you how to use the shoulder press machine at Westpark Fitness – complete with pictures of one of our trainers using it with the correct and proper form.
To begin with, sit at the machine and if needed, adjust the seat so that the handles are positioned just above your shoulders. Start with a light weight (or even take the pin out of the stack so there is no weight plates engaged at first) so that your shoulders can warm up by completing the range of motion of the movement. Grip the handles tightly and as can be seen in the picture above, you can grip the handles with your palms facing forward, or move your hands further down the bars so that your palms are facing each other. While both grips will work your shoulder muscles and joints, the change of grip will target them from slightly different angles to engage differing muscle fibres. Push the handles straight up towards the ceiling and hold them up in the air for a couple of seconds.
Slowly lower the handles back down to the starting position, but make sure not to let the weight plates meet and hit against each other (which will happen if you lower the handles down further than the starting position). The idea here is that at all times when using the shoulder press machine that your muscles remain engaged and in control of the weight at all times. As such, familiarise yourself with this movement pattern before you start to use the machine with a pin in the weight stack.
Do of course ask any of our fitness team for a demonstration on how to use this machine at Westpark Fitness and to check your form and movement pattern when using it too.
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