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Shoulder Exercises


Updated June 19, 2014

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Overhead Barbell Press
Shoulder Exercises
The overhead press is often a standard move in most routines because it hits every part of the shoulder with an emphasis on the front and middle part of the deltoid. This is also a tough exercise because you're pressing a weight over your head, so you may not be able to lift as much weight for this move as you do for other exercises. If you're using a heavy weight, you might want to sit on a chair or bench that has back support.
  1. Using a medium-heavy barbell, hold bar with hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Start by bringing the bar up to forehead level, elbows bent.
  3. Slowly press the weight overhead without arching the back--keep the abs in tight and don't lock the elbows at the top of the movement.
  4. Exhale and lower back to start.
  5. Repeat for 2 to 3 sets of 12-16 repetitions, with a 20-30 second rest between sets.


You might see people doing this exercise by bringing the weight behind the neck. This version can strain the rotator cuff muscles as well as the neck. Keeping the weight in front of the head will target the shoulder muscles more effectively without strain.

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