Shoulder press - how far to lower arms?

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toby123
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Shoulder press - how far to lower arms?

Post by toby123 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:31 pm

When doing the shoulder press (standing or seated), should the arms be lowered all the way down or just to parallel or what? The aim being to work the shoulders fully.

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Post by Ironman » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:42 pm

It depends on the person. Some people are more flexible. You should use a depth that is comfortable. Probably slightly below parallel for most people.

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Post by Matt Z » Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:15 pm

Generally, you should be touching the bar to your upper-chest on Military Presses and Seated Shoulder Presses, provided you can do so comfortably.

When people use a shorter range-of-motion on these exercises it usually for one of the following reasons.

A) They're using more weight than they can lift properly.

B) A trainer told them if was bad for their shoulders to use a full ROM.

I see Reason A a lot with seated presses, since with seated presses you start with the bar near lockout.

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Post by brook011 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:14 pm

The thing I see alot of is people going too high. Dumbbells being clanked together at the top and such. Same with DB benching, theres a point where effort goes down, and you don't want to be in that range. Just my two cents.

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Post by hoosegow » Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:12 pm

I'm a chest toucher.

Got me in trouble at a gym.

The girl didn't like me touching her chest.

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Post by tostig » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:13 pm

brook011 wrote:The thing I see alot of is people going too high. Dumbbells being clanked together at the top and such. ....
Hey, that's what I do when doing sitting DB Shoulder presses. I go down to parallel to the ears...

If that's too high, what's the proper technique? As I'm always looking for improvements.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:39 pm

For Dumbbell Shoulder Presses I touch the dumbbell to my deltoid for each rep.

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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:20 pm

What's parallel in this case? The upper arms? Shouldn't the bar be in the rack position like for a clean or like in a front squat?

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Post by brook011 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:06 am

tostig wrote:
brook011 wrote:The thing I see alot of is people going too high. Dumbbells being clanked together at the top and such. ....
Hey, that's what I do when doing sitting DB Shoulder presses. I go down to parallel to the ears...

If that's too high, what's the proper technique? As I'm always looking for improvements.
Well its hard to explain, but theres a point where your maximal effort is lost, and tension on the muscle lowers. You should experiment with this to find your point -- mind you its usually that last 4-5 inches of movement on the end of each rep. To me its just wasted energy moving it those couple inches, better to keep the muscle under load for your set.

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Post by Porovoz » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:30 am

Matt Z wrote:For Dumbbell Shoulder Presses I touch the dumbbell to my deltoid for each rep.
How important do you think this is?
I've wondered if it would be worth doing, but usually only lower the dumbbell parallel to the ear.
That last little bit is both extra difficult and feels unstable. :con:

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:25 pm

Touching the dumbbell(s) to your deltoid keeps you honest. Otherwise there's a tendency to shorten your ROM with each progressive set or rep.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:39 pm

"What's parallel in this case? The upper arms?" - Jungledoc

Parallel in an overhead press is when your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Many trainers discourage their healthy clients from going below parallel, claiming that it's bad for the shoulder joint (complete BS). Unfortunately, this turns an overhead press into a triceps exercise.

"Shouldn't the bar be in the rack position like for a clean or like in a front squat?" - Jungledoc

For Military Presses .... Yes ... as long as you can do so comfortably.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:44 pm

Same goes Seated Shoulder Presses, assuming of course you're lowering the bar in front, rather than behind-the-neck.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:48 pm

For Behind-the-Neck Presses (seated or standing) you should ideally lower the barbell all the way to your traps (again provided you can do so comforably).

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