Maximise Gains: Shoulder Press Variations

Ready to target the deltoids then get ready to maximise gains: shoulder press variations.

Begin with the Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Position yourself on a bench with a straight backrest. Ensure you have a firm grip on your dumbbells. Start with them at ear level, with your palms facing forward. With control, push the dumbbells upwards. Try to keep them slightly in front of your head for optimal shoulder engagement. Slowly lower them back down. This completes one rep.

Next, a word of caution. Don’t arch your back during the movement. Doing so places unnecessary stress on your lower back. Rather, maintain a straight posture throughout. Also, ensure your movement is smooth, not jerky. Focus on control, not speed. Aim for 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions. Gradually increase weight as your strength improves.

To visualize the concept in a practical manner, watch this video. Seated Dumbbell Press | Shoulders | How-To Exercise Tutorial – YouTube

The Standing Barbell Shoulder Press

Let’s switch gears now to the Standing Barbell Shoulder Press. This press is a compound exercise, targeting multiple muscle groups. Begin in a standing position, with the barbell at collarbone height. Your grip should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Push the barbell upward until your arms are fully extended. Lower the barbell slowly to the starting position.

Of course, proper form is crucial with this exercise. Your core should be engaged throughout the movement. This helps maintain balance and prevents injury. Likewise, don’t lock out your elbows at the top of the press. Aim for the same 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Remember to start light, then progressively add weight. For a more interactive experience, click on this video. How To Do A STANDING BARBELL SHOULDER PRESS | Exercise Demonstration Video and Guide – YouTube

The Arnold Press

Thirdly, the Arnold Press, a dynamic variation named after bodybuilding legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Start seated, dumbbells at chest level. The palms should face your body initially. As you press up, rotate your palms to face forward. Lower the dumbbells while reversing the rotation. That’s one rep.

This press works additional muscle fibres due to the rotation. Hence, it’s a fantastic way to stimulate shoulder growth. Ensure that your back is flat against the bench. This helps with stability and reduces the risk of injury. Again, the same rep and set pattern applies here. To explore the topic in greater depth, watch this informative video. How To Arnold Press Correctly – Old School Shoulder Exercise – YouTube

Maximise Gains: Shoulder Press Variations

The Push Press

Lastly, the Push Press. Unlike the previous exercises, this one includes a lower-body component. Start in a standing position, barbell at chest level. Slightly bend your knees, then quickly straighten them to generate upward momentum. Use this momentum to help push the barbell overhead. Lower the barbell slowly back to chest level.

Since the Push Press uses leg drive, you can often lift heavier than other shoulder exercises. This allows for increased muscle activation. Yet, coordination and timing are crucial for this exercise. Get the timing wrong and you’ll waste the leg drive. Make sure you start with a weight you can manage. Gradually increase as you get more comfortable with the technique. Take a look at this video for an enlightening perspective. How to Perform the PUSH PRESS – Shoulder Exercise Tutorial – YouTube


In conclusion, these shoulder press variations offer diverse ways to challenge and grow your deltoids. Each brings a unique twist to the standard press, providing a fresh challenge for your workouts. Remember, good form is always key, and gradual progression is the path to success. With consistency and effort, you’re on your way to building stronger, more defined shoulders. Welcome to the next level of your fitness journey!

Learn the ins and outs of Gym Workouts in our informative pieces. Gym Workouts Archives – Aussie Fitness Centre