Exercise Modification Series: Shoulder Press

How Spectrum Sports Modifies The Shoulder Press
Jennifer Wells, OTS, Spectrum Sports
April 1, 2024
Exercise Modification Series: Shoulder Press

Jennifer Wells, OTS, Spectrum Sports


April 1, 2024

What Is The Shoulder Press?

The Shoulder Press is a strength exercise that targets multiple muscles:

  • The main muscle - Front of the Shoulders (Front Deltoids) 
  • Side of the Shoulders - known as the Lateral Deltoids 
  • Back of the upper arms - known as the Triceps

Building these muscles is important as they are used in many functional day-to-day activities, and with increased strength the risk of injury in these muscles is reduced. The Shoulder Press helps you build muscles that are highly involved with daily activities like:

  • Lifting objects overhead
  • Lifting objects laterally 
  • In Sports, like Basketball and Baseball

Performing The Shoulder Press Properly

This exercise is performed by standing upright to also work the abdominals, but can also be performed while sitting on a bench:  

  1. Start in a seated or standing position with  feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, holding it at shoulder level with palms facing away from your body
  3. Brace your core, keep your back straight and upright, and squeeze your shoulder blades together 
  4. Press the dumbbells over your head until your elbows are fully extended
  5. Slowly with control, lower the dumbbells back to the starting position and repeat for the required number of repetitions

How Spectrum Sports Modifies The Shoulder Press

  • Position: Completing this exercise while standing upright will target more muscle groups and work on balance. This can also be completed while sitting to focus using energy on the target muscles without adding balance and other muscles into the mix. 
  • Weight: Modifying the weight can make the exercise easier or harder. If the exercise is too easy, weight can be added, and if the exercise is too easy the weight can be lowered.
  • Time to complete each repetition: Each athlete is encouraged to go slow with each shoulder press. Adding or subtracting the time it takes for each repetition can make this exercise harder or easier. 
  • Visual demonstrations: Each coach will demonstrate the exercise, while encouraging each athlete to reach fully up with extended arms with the weight to tap their hand, and then slowly lower the weight to their shoulder height.

How to Complete at Home

An individual can stand or sit at home and use any object to push overhead. This can be completed as an exercise or even during household errands, like stacking objects on a shelf, putting away dishes, etc.

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