Smith Machine Shoulder Press Exercise Guide & Video

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Watch Smith Machine Shoulder Press

For over 50 pre-designed workouts you can bring straight to the gym, view EMG’s Workout Routines.


Step 1. Grip the bar with a wider than shoulder-width grip, placing your palms under the bar to support your weight and take pressure off of your wrists.

Step 2. Remove the bar from the rack by twisting the bar backward. Lower the bar in a controlled fashion to your collarbone.

Step 3. Press the bar straight above your head. Push your feet into the floor as you pushup for added balance and control.


The smith machine shoulder press is a variation on the seated military press and provides many of the same benefit. This exercise allows the user to build size and strength in the frontal deltoids without having to worry about the need for a spotter or controlling the weight up and down. The downside to this is that the stabilizer muscles are not being worked; the smith machine is doing all the stabilizing here. Nevertheless, the smith machine shoulder press can be easier on those with shoulder, elbow or wrist pain. Users can also put a safety latch on the smith machine that sets the low point that the bar can reach. This can be beneficial for controlling the range of motion, and for those who are lifting heavy weight without a spotter.

Smith Machine Shoulder Press 4
Smith Machine Shoulder Press 3

Updated: March 30th, 2015