Shoulder Press: Technique, Correct Form and Benefits

Shoulder press strengthens upper body muscles (Image via pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)
Shoulder press strengthens upper body muscles (Image via pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

Shoulder press is one of the best workouts to strengthen your shoulders and upper back. Shoulder presses are particularly popular among gym goers as a way to condition their upper bodies. The triceps in your arms, the trapezius muscles in your upper back, and the deltoid muscles (lateral, posterior, and anterior deltoids) in your shoulders are all worked out during shoulder presses.

The shoulder press will help your entire body, not just your muscles. The tension that the activity puts on your bones causes them to grow in density and strength. The shoulder push engages the stabilizer muscles in your shoulders, elbows, and wrists. It also targets your abdominal muscles indirectly by maintaining a straight core throughout. This improves your stability and balance when done together.

Shoulder Press Technique

If you want to have bigger pecs and a sculpted upper body, try the shoulder press. As you only need dumbbells or barbells to do the shoulder press exercise, you may even do it at home.

Follow these steps to perform shoulder press precisely:

Weight selection

Begin with a weight that you can control for 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions on the shoulder press. Select a weight that permits you to keep good form throughout all the sets and repetitions.

Hold the position

Grab two dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees bowed slightly. Position your shoulders directly above your hips, and keep your head and neck in a neutral position. Throughout the exercise, your chin should be tucked in. Your weight should be distributed evenly across your feet. To create a stable foot position, grab the floor with your feet.

Position the dumbbells

With your hands facing ahead and elbows out to the sides, hold the dumbbells just above shoulder height. To get into the scapular plane (approximately 30–45 degrees forward from your torso), bring your arms forward slightly. This is where you should start all repeats.

Engage your core

While engaging your core, pre-tension your shoulders and hips.

Maintain proper alignment

Start the upward action by straightening your elbows and pressing the dumbbells overhead while maintaining appropriate spinal alignment and a neutral wrist position. The movement of your shoulder blades should be natural.

Arm movement

Your arms should be long at the apex of movement, with a slight bend in your elbows. At the top, pause while maintaining a comfortable space between the dumbbells. Return to the beginning posture by bending your elbows and dragging the dumbbells down with your lats.

Here's a video for reference:


Correct Form for Shoulder Press

Shoulder press is ideal for core stability (Image via pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)
Shoulder press is ideal for core stability (Image via pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

A shoulder press can put a lot of load on your muscles, which is also why it can go wrong in a variety of ways. It's especially taxing on your back, at least if you perform it incorrectly. You'll want to make sure it's done as close to flawless as possible because otherwise it can lead to injury and back pain in the long run.


Make sure you're holding the bar at a distance that's no more than shoulder-width apart. You will feel weak and unable to raise the weights with stability if your grasp is either too close or too far away.

Wrist mobility

Wrist positioning is also important since it allows for a bigger push at the start of the lift. Wrist mobility also helps you keep your elbows closer to your body in the later stages of the press, when the weight is easier to bear. Make sure to have mobile wrists.

Engaging your core

In the shoulder press, core engagement is also crucial. By glancing at someone's lower back, you may detect whether their core isn't correctly engaged. Excessive rounding indicates that the core muscles are not being used adequately. This is definitely harmful to the health of your lower back.

Positioning your head

Your head should be straight, but you should slightly tilt it on the backside as you raise the weight. This will protect the chin and nose from harm.

Benefits of Shoulder Press

It goes without saying that integrating shoulder presses into your workout plan will improve your upper body strength and attractiveness. If you're training for other power and strength sports, a shoulder press is a great workout to do.

We have listed down the benefits of shoulder press:

Shoulder aesthetics

A pair of boulders for shoulders completes the ideal physique with a filled-out upper torso. Strong shoulders are the foundation of an overall strong upper body, simply because they express strength and confidence.

Full Body Workout

The shoulder press works with a variety of muscle groups throughout your entire body. While the shoulders will take center stage, you'll need to use muscles all the way down to your lower body for stability.

Stronger Bones

The force is put on your bones by the weight stresses and adapts them during the lift, just like your muscles. Your bones adapt by gaining strength and boosting their mineral density.

Improved stability

As you push the weights, the stabilizer muscles of your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are called upon to keep your joints in position. This will lead to improved core stability and overall balance in the long run.

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Edited by Ashish Yadav
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