Thursday, 1 January 2009

Shoulder Press

This can be done with dumbbells or a barbell, either seated or standing up. With a barbell, there is the question of whether to bring the bar to the front or the back of the neck. My experience has been that the behind-the-neck variation is awkward and can lead to injury especially if the bar brought all the way down to the traps.

The videos show a couple of the combinations.

When I was doing this exercise with heavy dumbbells, I found that if I allowed my upper arms to go below the horizontal position I developed injuries over time. People would tell me that I needed to get the full range of movement, but I am not convinced this is necessary.

These days I only do shoulder press with light weights as part of a circuit, usually standing up.
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Seated Front Barbell Shoulder Press
Even though it has a bit of a muscle-head emphasis, I picked this video because it shows the arms going no lower than the horizontal, which as I mention above, I think reduces the likelihood of injury.

With Sandbag
As seen in the first few seconds of this video. If you are just using the sandbag to press and not for the other exercises they go on to do, then a heavier bag would be needed. Mine is 28kg and I can manage no more than 15 good reps from fresh.