Should I Push My Shoulder Press Machine Or Free Weights

When it comes to pushing weight, do you know whether or not your shoulder press machine is the best tool for the job? Chances are you don’t. And while you might think this would be an easy question to answer, in reality, there are a few considerations you should take into account before making a purchase.


shoulder press machine

The shoulder press machine is boulder-like shoulders boot camp’s Area 51. It is not for the faint of heart and must be used with great discipline. Today, the shoulder press machine is used in commercial gyms.

Many bodybuilders, powerlifters, and gym veterans use it to get the v-tapered shape seen on billboards and in publications.

Given the difficulty of this task, developing large shoulders affords fitness bragging rights at the gym. The shoulder press is a practical machine that brings the fantasy of brawny shoulders on a tapered frame to life. It is a piece of fixed bulky equipment with an attached seat. The resistance is suspended overhead, making it easy to reach while seated in the chair.

Because the shoulder press machine has a set and limited range of motion, you can only follow one movement pattern.

These resistances limit your arms’ ability to move in the direction that the machine allows. The weights on the shoulder press machine are also adjustable.

By setting the pin to the desired weight, the resistance can be changed to heavier or lighter.

Some shoulder press machine designs have weighted plates that may be adjusted for a larger force.


The shoulder press machine is a sitting barbell shoulder press variation.

Although it has a different range of motion, it is an excellent exercise option for both beginners and professional bodybuilders. The machine shoulder press exercises and improves your delt muscles.

The machine shoulder press, unlike other press variations, isolates the muscles in your shoulders, transferring the majority of the contraction to your deltoids. This is due to the set movement pattern, which assists in activating and engaging the appropriate muscles while isolating the shoulder muscles.

The main distinctions between the free-weight dumbbell shoulder press and the machine shoulder press are intensity and range of motion.

Because the dumbbells or barbells in the traditional shoulder press are not coupled to a steel structure, your arms control balance and movement throughout the whole range of motion.

The shoulder press machine, on the other hand, has a predetermined course.

You can’t take the levers out of their fixed range of motion and control how the weight moves. You travel in the direction indicated by the machine.


The deltoid muscles of the shoulder are largely activated by the machine shoulder press. This exercise works the pecs, triceps, and middle back muscles as secondary and mover muscles.

The shoulder press machine is a great exercise for big shoulders.

It primarily targets the deltoids while also targeting other important stabilizer muscles such as the supraspinatus, rotator cuff, traps, and rhomboid muscles.


Contrary to popular belief, the shoulder is not made up of a single muscle stretch. It entails the connection and reliance of numerous muscles in the shoulder to move the arm. The deltoid is one of these muscles. The deltoid is a thick band of triangle muscle located in the upper, most important section of the body.

The deltoid aids arm mobility in all directions and protects and stabilizes the shoulder joint.

The anterior, medial, and posterior delts are the three heads of the deltoid muscle. Each deltoid is not only positioned differently in the shoulder region, but it also performs distinct roles. The anterior deltoid is named after its location on the front of the shoulder. It is attached to the clavicle and aids in the movement of the hand forward. It is useful for utilitarian activities such as reaching forward to pick up a cereal bowl from the kitchen counter.


The deltoid is also used in gym activities that require the execution of motions such as deadlifts and bench presses. The medial deltoid, along with the anterior delt, is one of the key muscles activated during the shoulder machine press. The medial delt, also known as the side delt, is the middle head that serves to abduct or move the arm away from the body to the side.

When performing lateral lifts, you use this muscle.

The most substantial deltoid that provides bulk and girth is the medial delt. The shoulder press isolates this muscle, activating and destroying its muscle fibers, resulting in bigger and stronger shoulders.


Close-Hand Pushups aka Diamond Pushups
arm workouts for beginners

The triceps, also known as the triceps brachii, is an upper arm muscle that causes the arm to appear large at rest and even larger when flexed. If you want bigger firearms, you should usually start with your triceps. Fortunately, the triceps is the main muscle activated during the shoulder machine press.

However, this shoulder exercise only engages two of the three triceps muscles, the medial and lateral heads.

The triceps medial head aids in forearm extension at the elbow and serves to support the elbow joint, whereas the lateral head delivers power for high-intensity motions. The long head, which serves to stabilize your shoulder joint, is activated as a secondary muscle, receiving less attention.


During the shoulder press, the pectoralis major, also known as the pecs, is stimulated. The bulk of the chest muscles are made up of this thick muscle wrapped over the chest area. It assists with arm adduction and rotation. The shoulder machine press workout not only strengthens and tightens this muscle, but also helps it grow more prominently, contributing to an intimidating v-taper shape.

The shoulder machine press then engages other supporting muscles such as the serratus anterior, which contributes to a wider chest and rib movement, the long head of the biceps, which aids in both abduction and internal rotation of the arms, and the traps, which contribute to a bigger back with improved shoulder stability.

The shoulder machine press essentially targets many of the upper body’s primary muscular groups. This aids in the improvement of general upper body health and strength for improved performance in daily activities and in the gym.


The machine shoulder press is an excellent approach to increasing upper body strength. It is a simple movement that is simple to learn and even simpler to master.

Some of its advantages include:


At its core, the machine shoulder press is an isolated exercise. This means that it directs muscle stimulation to the shoulder muscles. This direct stimulation aids in the breakdown of muscle fibers, and the regeneration of these fibers results in a stronger, larger muscle. Most shoulder complex exercises stimulate other muscular groups, minimizing stimulus to the shoulders as a secondary muscle. The machine shoulder press directs your attention to your shoulders, resulting in bigger shoulders in no time.


In contrast to free-weight shoulder presses, the machine shoulder press requires little effort to do. It reduces the strain on your muscles by challenging you to maintain good form throughout the workout. It is not like other shoulder press variations that involve core muscle engagement and activation. You do not need to stabilize yourself, and the machine’s defined pathway system has already prepared your range of motion for you.


Although the machine shoulder press generally isolates the shoulder muscles, it also requires action from your arm muscles. This works the biceps and triceps, the two largest muscles in the arm.

During the actions of the shoulder machine push, the biceps, and triceps are activated, resulting in bigger and stronger arms.

Because arm strength is essential in the gym, the machine shoulder press is a fantastic low-intensity finisher exercise for your arm day program.


The movement also involves the chest muscles. More muscular pecs imply a larger and more threatening chest size.

The machine shoulder press works the pectoral muscle, strengthening and growing it.

It also engages the serratus anterior, which helps to build and strengthen the fifth of the chest. This is an excellent method for achieving the coveted v-taper look.


The machine shoulder press exercise might look relatively easy, but to get the best results, you need to make proper use of the shoulder press machine. There is much more involved in this exercise than sitting in a chair and pressing a pair of handles toward the sky.

The machine shoulder press requires precision and consistency before you can begin to notice obvious signs of hypertrophy. Like any other exercise, the machine shoulder press requires a strict form for proper performance. The exercise might seem easy, but it packs a punch that you might feel during and after your workout session.

  • Adjust the seat height. The seat should be high enough so that your arms are slightly lower than your shoulders when you’re sitting upright.
  • Select the weight. Start with a light weight and gradually increase as you get stronger.
  • Grab the handles. You can use a pronated (overhand) grip or a neutral grip.
  • Press the handles overhead. Keep your elbows slightly bent and your core engaged.
  • Lower the handles back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


Choosing a suitable workout method depends on your current fitness level and the fitness goals you wish to achieve. Each technique works as a unique process, and no two exercises will provide the same results. Your workout method also depends on your preference. Many people consider the machine a safer and easier way to work out while many others consider it a waste of time. Ultimately, it is vital to understand how each training method works before making a choice.


shoulder press free weights

Using free weights for presses of any kind demands an increased level of attention and muscle recruitment. Unlike the shoulder press machine that helps you align your form while creating a smooth pathway to exhibit your range of motion when using free weights, you would be required to do the work yourself. A lot of things when you use free weights, including your center of gravity. The most common free weight for the shoulder press is the dumbbell.

This is mainly because the dumbbell yields greater anterior deltoid activation compared to other weight choices.

When you use free weights, you are either standing or sitting on your own to perform the press. This demands extra effort to stabilize yourself while engaging the necessary muscle groups.

The free-weight shoulder press exercise is more compound. It requires the activation of your stabilizer muscles, lower extremities, posterior chain, and even smaller muscles like the rotator cuff.

pros and cons Shoulder Press Machine Or FREE WEIGHTS

Free weightsShoulder press machine
Increased muscle activation Safety
Improved balance and coordinationEase of use
Greater range of motion Isolation
Can be challenging to learn how to use Not as challenging as free weights
Can be dangerous if not used properlyNot as versatile as free weights


Weight bench training has been shown to be more effective than shoulder press machines for increasing muscle mass and promoting fat loss. And contrary to popular belief, shoulder presses aren’t always the best way to work the muscles in your chest and shoulders.

In order to maximize muscle gains and minimize soreness, it’s important to choose the right weight bench for your goals. If you are looking to increase strength and size in your shoulders, I recommend opting for a weight bench that offers support and allows you to isolate different parts of your chest and shoulders.

Ultimately, the best way to choose between free weights and the shoulder press machine is to experiment and see what works best for you. If you’re not sure which option is right for you, talk to a personal trainer

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