are a number of variations of
the shoulder press...barbell,
dumbbell, machine, sitting,
standing, etc. One of the things
that a lot of these have in
common is that when your shoulders
are tweaked (i.e. injured, unstable
or just "not quite right")
many of these pressing variations
can cause pain.
in some cases, you actually
shouldn't try and push the issue.
Overhead pressing simply may
not be a good movement pattern
other cases, you may just need
an alternate exercise that doesn't
put the shoulder joint in positions
that do cause pain...you may
be able to press overhead after
where this exercise comes in...it's
an overhead press done on a
standing calf raise machine.
note, you may be able to also
do this exercise on a normal
standing shoulder press machine
if the handles are position
in close enough - you'll see
what I mean when you see the
exercise in action).
though I'm a big proponent of using
free weight whenever possible, this
variation has a number of benefits
over the normal shoulder press with
free weight, especially as relates
to "tweaked" shoulders.
1. The weight is stabilized
but you can still move your body relatively
freely to find the best path of movement.
This is important because one of the
main issues with machine presses is
that you're more "locked in"
to the movement. You have to follow
the path that the machine follows.
exercise (done standing), while stabilizing
the load for you, allows you to shift
your body around under that load to
still find the right movement path
for your shoulders. Granted, it's
not as free as free weight, but if
your shoulders aren't up for full
stabilization duties, this is a good
2. This exercise is performed
with arms pointing forward, which
better "packs" the shoulder
joint than "elbows wide"
pressing (i.e. normal pressing). This
helps better stabilize the joint and,
I find, helps reduce and eliminate
pain and discomfort from the pressing
this arm positioning does tend to
throw more focus on the front delts,
so you will need to take that into
account with other exercises you're
doing...basically, don't do any front
raises. You can also work with this
by moving your body under the weight
as you come to the top, which helps
put tension onto the lateral and rear
delts as well.
3. You'll be performing this
exercise with an open palm. I find
this actually helps increase muscle
activation in the delts, similar to
fat grip training and bodyweight training.
How to do the Shoulder
Press on the Standing Calf Raise Machine:
with a fairly light weight until you
get an idea of how much load the leverage
of the calf machine will put on you.
in front of the machine with a staggered
stance then put your palms under the
shoulder pads of the calf machine.
If you have a shoulder press machine
with the handles close enough in,
you can mimic this position (hands
4 to 6 inches apart).
press up. Your core and legs will
work to stabilize the body. Shift
your body as needed during the movement.
you press up and the shoulder pads
come up higher than your head, push
your body forward underneath the weight.
This will help activate the lateral
and rear delts. This also gives a
straight line of support through your
entire body (i.e. you can draw a straight
line from my hands down through my
the weight back down, shifting your
body back then repeat.
of the other benefits of this one
is that you can set the machine down
in between each rep and reset your
shoulder position. You can do continuous
tension if you want to, but you do
have the option to reset on each rep.
also notice this elbows-forward version
gives you a tremendous range of motion
in the shoulder press...it also involves
the triceps to a significant degree
very quick to set up and very straightforward
line, if your shoulders give you trouble
either through injury, pain or discomfort
and normal shoulder press with free
weights is not an option for you,
this version might be worth a try.
It may allow you to do overhead pressing
addition, if your shoulders are fine,
this is a GREAT shoulder pressing
option to hit your delts with a different