Since I launched KT Conditioning at the end of December I have tried to write a regular BLOG that provides useful information for you all. I hope you have enjoyed reading the articles (don’t be shy to leave a comment) and to date the feedback has been great! The BLOGs that have been most popular have been my video BLOGs that provide interesting, challenging and (hopefully) new variations of traditional exercises for you all to try out in the gym. If you haven’t seen my previous posts on the Lunge (Part 1 and Part 2) and the DB Bench Press check them out Now!!
Following the feedback, I thought I’d produce a 2 part BLOG on the shoulder press exercise and provide you with 12 exercises to add that variety to your sessions. Part 1 looks at the use of the barbell while Part 2 (to come later in the week) looks at dumbbell derivatives. I hope you like the exercises and remember, always use a load that can be performed effectively in a controlled manner. Let me know your thoughts on these exercises and hopefully they’ll provide a great stimulus for improving your performance!
1. The Barbell (Military) Press
This is the traditional barbell shoulder press exercise. The exercise is performed in a standing position with the bar lowered to just above the chest and then pressed overhead with full extension of the arms. The core should be switched on to keep the body in a straight position throughout the lift.
2. Behind the Neck Press
The behind the neck press is similar to the barbell press except the bar is lowered behind the neck so it touches the upper traps (just below the neck) . This exercise is great for shoulder stability and should again be performed with the core switched on. Although there has been debate about pressing behind the neck it is a safe and effective movement, however people with poor shoulder mobility may struggle to execute the lift correctly.
3. Kneeling Press
The kneeling press involves performing a barbell press (front or behind the neck as shown in the video) in a kneeling position. This exercise really emphasises using the shoulders and takes out any possible cheating by people using their legs to lift the weight. This position can also emphasise glute activation if the hips are pushed through and the glutes are fired.
4. Rotating Press
The rotating press is a typical behind the neck press but adds an element of rotation into the movement. From a standing position rotate from the hips as far as possible keeping the feet in their starting position. From this rotated position - press the barbell overhead then lower to starting position – before rotating back to a neutral position. Then perform the opposite side. This exercise is great for athletes that need to develop strength in a rotated position and also emphasises the core muscles. Be careful not to use too great a load in this exercise until technique is mastered.
5. Single Arm Pivot Press
This is a single arm exercise and therefore initiates core stabilisation as well. One end of the barbell should be positioned (pivoted) on the floor or against a wall with the other end held in one hand. Te barbell starts touching the shoulder and the arm is then extended with the body leaning slightly forward. Control the movement and make sure you keep the hips and shoulders as straight as possible.
6. Single Arm Length Ways Press
This is a very tricky exercise (notice how I use the small bar!!) and requires a great deal of shoulder stability and mobility. A barbell is held in one hand in a length ways position so the barbell must be held in the middle. From this position a single arm pressing action is performed trying to keep the barbell straight and controlled as much as possible. Again use the core to stabilise. Don’t go too heavy to start with until you can master the movement. A 1.25kg plate each side can make a big difference!
There you go, 6 barbell shoulder pressing exercises of increasing difficulty. Give them a go and let me know your thoughts