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need help improving shoulder press


Welcome to the EliteFitness.com Bodybuilding Site! Please join this discussion about need help improving shoulder press within the Weight Training & Weight Lifting category.

Excerpt: I'm open to advice from anyone about improving my seated behind the back shoulder press. I think this might be the hardest upperbody exercise to improve on. My bench press is 340 lbs. but my shoulder press is only 185lbs. with difficulty. I can do 135 for 13 reps, 155 for 6 reps. My other deltoid exercises are front laterals and side laterals with 40 pounds. 4 sets apiece.

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  1. #1

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    need help improving shoulder press

    I'm open to advice from anyone about improving my seated behind the back shoulder press. I think this might be the hardest upperbody exercise to improve on. My bench press is 340 lbs. but my shoulder press is only 185lbs. with difficulty. I can do 135 for 13 reps, 155 for 6 reps. My other deltoid exercises are front laterals and side laterals with 40 pounds. 4 sets apiece.

  2. #2
    Da Pope
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    try dumbbell shoulder presses, i got huge gains from them and got few little gains with the bar


    ~WizKid

  3. #3
    Pro Bodybuilder Belial's Avatar
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    I actually (oh the horror) agree with Wizkid. You might consider mixing it up a little bit. If I work with the BB too long on any big pressing movement, I start to get into bad habits (Like cheating with one arm at the bottom of the movement, or twisting, or uneven lifting, etc.) that the dumbbells point out (and punish me for).

    Shoulder presses, IMO, involve a LOT more "weak" stabilizers than the bench press does, so this lift is even more prone to cheating, bad form, etc., all of which really contribute to plateaus. I'd take a few weeks off from the BB and use the DBs exclusively. You never know, that may be all you need.

  4. #4
    Pro Bodybuilder flex4life's Avatar
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    agreeing w/ Belial, rotator cuff muscled are already getting a lot of work in chest & back exercises- these are small stabilizer muscles- easily overworked- and the surgery to rehab them is a drag- out for a long time from the gym. Arnie presses or reg DB presses are a good alternative to bar behind the neck- these movements are not near as prone to cheating, bad form or injuries. Form on behind the neck press usually puts the head forward- pressure on cervical vertebrae.
    just my .02...
    Train safe & good luck

  5. #5
    Olympian MonStar1023's Avatar
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    100% AGREED

    Your rotator cuffs take a beating every chest and back workout. They really get hit hard during chest in my opinion. Back hits them hard again especially if your using dumbbell pullovers and exercises where you rotate your arms. Your shoulders are naturally in a weak position to begin with with any type of overhead press and thats the reason many young bodybuilders strength in bench soars while their overhead pressing strength is pitiful. It took me around 6-8 months of strict behind-neck presses to get my strength up on those. And even now its not too high I can probably handle 150 lbs. for 6 reps. Thats a lot more than when I started doing them though. Try dumbbells, switch it up, and stick to the basics!

  6. #6
    Good Bro
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    i agree grab the dumbells. Im not a very strong guy, never was, but my muscles look decent. Heres the thing, about a month ago i had a realization that all of you probably already know. I was trying to push the dumbells rather than "lift" them. What I mean is that from the bottom of my ROM i was trying to push up through the contact of the dumbell and my hand. Then I changed my motion so that instead i rotate my shoulder up, not pushing on the dumbell, just holding it and "lifting" with my shoulder. DUDE, I feel no more work on my triceps, but incredible burns on my delts. I only use my triceps for the very last part of the motion, in order to keep them from arcing too much. If you were "pushing" then try switching to what i am doing. You may not find you're as strong but goddamn you'll feel an incredible shoulder pump. peaccceeeeee

  7. #7
    Mad Scientist bignate73's Avatar
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    go for the dbells and throw that behind the neck shit to the wind. behind the neck not only causes you to place your shoulder in an un-natural position, but also places you in bad posture with stooping your head forward. 2 strikes so far. if you have to round your upper back forward to accomodate the bar, youre just asking to pull your neck, back, and blow out your rotator cuffs. sounds like a plan to me......

    do em to the front or use dbells. you'll improve more with a better mechanical advantage for pressing, ie straight spine, less work involved in holding unsafe positions etc.

  8. #8
    Olympian MonStar1023's Avatar
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    Behind-neck presses seem to be GREAT for my shoulders but I know and have read many time that they put your shoulders in a VERY unnatural position which can put a lot of strain on your shoulder joints and really fuck up your rotator cuffs if not performed correctly.

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    And, the very first time you fail in mid lift and accidently let that bar pop you in the lower neck, you will never do them again....

  10. #10
    Good Bro
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    i do not agree, ur interior rotator cufs get worked a lot thru chest and shit, but exterior rotator cuffs do not that is why u see a lot of people with hurt shoiulders. no one ever does exterior rotator cuffs tho it is vitally important especailly for shoulders

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