6 Best Shoulder Press Variations For Men

Shoulder press variations add all-round strength. (Photo by Philip Myrtorp on Unsplash)
Shoulder press variations add all-round strength. (Photo by Philip Myrtorp on Unsplash)
Shuvangi Sen Chaudhury

Shoulder press variations enable you to work on your shoulder heads from all angles. This helps with allowing the muscles to become stronger to withstand heavier resistance as the muscle fibers become stronger and thicker.

Shoulder press exercises are the most efficient exercises to truly develop a boulder shoulder.

6 Shoulder Press Variations for Strength

Here are certain shoulder press exercises that you should include in your workout routine to develop your shoulder head without any muscle imbalance.

1. Barbell Shoulder Press

This is one of the most common shoulder press variations. You can do the exercise on the power rack as it is then easier to lift the barbell.


To do the exercise, you need to place the barbell slightly below your shoulder, and add plates that your shoulders can push upward.

To exercise, hold the barbell and lift it off the rack and push it upward. When you're pressing it upward, use your shoulders and at the top of the motion, you should be able to feel the pressure on your lateral and anterior deltoids.

If you want to boost growth and muscle endurance significantly, you can control the negative.

2. Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Dumbbell shoulder press is another common shoulder press variation. The exercise is similar to the barbell shoulder press, but you need to use dumbbells which are suitable for both arms.


Usually, our dominant hand is stronger and it can push heavier weights. But, it’s important to use the same weights for both arms to avoid muscle imbalance.

3. Cable Overhead Shoulder Press

Cable exercises allow you to burn out the muscles using lighter weights but higher reps, even though you can do heavy weights and light reps.

To do cable overhead exercises, you can attach a single d-bar to each side of the cable pulley machine and set the anchor at the bottom.

Now, to do the exercise, hold each grip on one hand and extend your arms upward. The primary focus will be on your lateral and anterior deltoids, but your full shoulders will take on the resistance as well.

Alternatively, you can use the cable press unilaterally, that is, doing one shoulder at a time. This helps with correcting any strength gaps or muscle imbalances between the two shoulders.

4. Hammer Strength Shoulder Press

If you have access to a hammer strength shoulder press, you must make use of it. The hammer strength machine is a shoulder press variation that provides volume along with intensity. It’s a great machine if you want to focus on drop sets during your workout routine.


5. Arnold Press

Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, these presses focus on your delts throughout the motion. Moreover, as you rotate your palms forward while moving upward and toward yourself when moving the weight, there’s a constant movement in your joints which is important for strength and mobility.

6. Behind-the-Neck Press

If you’re focusing on shoulder press variations, most work primarily on the lateral and anterior deltoids. However, rear delts are important as well.


Try to do a behind-the-neck press for the rear delts, and you can use only a barbell or a barbell with lighter weights for this exercise.

Edited by Ramaa Kishore


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