When we are doing a routine to gain muscle mass, shoulder work is an important part to take into account. In many pushing exercises the deltoid is involved as in some pulling exercises. There is a fairly common and considered exercise within the basics known by the name of shoulder press. The official name is military press, although it has a large number of variants and can be performed in different ways.
In this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the shoulder press and how to do it right.
Table of Contents
As I always mention in all articles related to muscle mass gains, the first thing we must take into account is our energy balance in the diet. Our body understands stimuli and the generation of new muscle mass is energy very expensive for the body. Therefore, we will not generate new muscle mass if we do not have an energy surplus for a long time. To achieve an energy surplus we need to eat more calories in our day-to-day life than we consume.
Being calorie intake higher than what is consumed it is known by the name of caloric surplus. Our energy requirements for weight maintenance are divided into our metabolic expenditure spent in addition to physical activity not linked to exercise. To this we must add the physical activity we do during weight training and if we do cardio. The total of calories that we get is the intake that we must consume to maintain weight. If we want to gain muscle mass we must increase said cal by 300-500 kcal, depending on our objective and our level.
Gym beginners can increase the calorie range a little more since they have more profit margin. On the other hand, as we become more advanced and expert in the gym, we must be more conservative with this energy surplus. In short, a surplus of calories is needed to be able to grow our pectoral. It does not matter how many exercises we do, If we are not in caloric surplus, we will not generate muscle mass.
The first thing many people want is to increase the size of their shoulders since aesthetically it gives you the feeling of being bigger. Those who want to do the shoulder press should know that there are numerous ways to do it and each of the variants will place a different emphasis on this muscle group. The deltoid is a muscle group that is divided into heads or portions. On the one hand we have the anterior deltoid that is more involved in pushing exercises. Next we have the posterior deltoid which is involved in pulling exercises. Finally, we have the medial deltoid that must be worked on in a specific way since there is no exercise that develops it analytically.
It is one of the most effective types of exercise that exists when it comes to achieving strong muscles for the shoulder. The shoulder press involves all the musculature as a load is lifted in a vertical direction overcoming not only the resistance of the weight but the force of gravity.
Let's see what the different variants of the shoulder press are.
Shoulder press variants
Traditional shoulder press
This is the most common and almost everyone will do it on a dumbbell bench. A pair of dumbbells is needed to be placed on each side and grip with a prone grip. It rises laterally starting from the height of the shoulders to meet up with the elbows fully stretched. The eccentric phase of the exercise must be controlled so as not to damage the shoulder. It is very common to see many people carry high weight in this type of exercise.
There are some variants on the traditional shoulder press such as the Arnold press in which a twist is performed to be able to involve more parts of the shoulder and affect this part of the body more.
It is also known as a barbell shoulder press. It can be done both in free weight and in the multipower. In this type of exercise, the movement is guided by the bar and can be done both in front of and behind the neck. This last form is not recommended at all since it is much more harmful and there are no noticeable differences between the gains in muscle mass in one way or another. To treat the lateral part of the deltoid it is always said that the press is done behind the neck, but it is not a good option. The risk of injury is quite high and the stimulation of this part of the medial deltoid is not that high. To truly activate this region of the shoulder it is best to work with dumbbell lateral raises.
The advantage of doing this exercise with free weight with respect to the multipower is that it is necessary to have greater control over our body. In this way, stabilizing muscles such as the gluteal and core are worked.
Shoulder press on pulley and machine
Another way to do the shoulder press is on pulleys or on a machine. Normally, this type of exercise is performed on machines that are prepared for it since we must sit down and grasp a pulley that is raised at the height of the shoulders in order to begin the exercise. The advantage of the pulley is that it exerts continuous mechanical stress on all parts of the path. From here we raise the load by means of the pulleys until the elbows are fully stretched. Thanks to this we train the shoulder and it will also help us to better stabilize the different parts of the body and affect the area worked more effectively.
Doing the machine shoulder press is the easiest way to do it. The movement is totally delimited by the machine and it is the one that guides us at all times. Many people prefer this type of exercise since the irregular backrest can also be moved by the height to which we can raise the pulleys. In this way, it is also possible to work the different intensities of the exercise and the area in which we will be affecting at all times.
The most important thing to get good shoulders is to alternate these types of exercises between routines to place more emphasis on all portions of the deltoids.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the shoulder press and its characteristics.