Please see a continuation of my top 10 weight exercises: where I give my opinion on some of my favourite exercises that have been a staple of my gym routine for many years.

I have a very traditional and basic attitude to weight training – you won’t see gimmicky exercises or “Wolverine Workouts” here.  If you have experience of weight training you have probably heard of most of my list.  I take the view to be the master of these 10 weight exercises, rather than do a new routine everyweek.

This week is Number 5:

Shoulder Press


shoulder1 shoulder2

Image from

Why do it?

They say that the bench press is the ultimate show of strength.  I disagree!  After all I think it is more impressive to be able to say that you can lift 50% all the way to 100% (or more) of your body weight above your head!

With a pushing movement you work your shoulders and as a second benefit the triceps get a bit of extra love.


The image above shows the fitness model sat down to do this movement, if you do it this way you will have more focus on using your shoulders and arms to lift the weight, rather than the use of your whole body.

I only would do it this way if I had problems standing for any reason.  Because there is less reliance on the back you will probably find you need to lower the weight as you don’t have the rest of the body supporting the movement.

My preferred way is standing up to do the movement.  I prefer this as I feel it helps my posture and also uses more muscles in my core to aid the movement (which I personally think is great for making that stronger, though I could be getting a bit bro-sciency there…)

You can turn the dumbells round so that they are facing the front (as below), twist them round as and back as you do the movement or use a barbell to do the press.


Image from


The shoulder press will make you look strong and is a perfect compliment to bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups.

As an obstacle racer they also helped give you that assisted strength to pull and push yourself over barriers.

And if you have a bit of an ego, be prepared for peoples reaction when you lifting 70%+ bodyweight above your head 🙂

Beginners advice:

  • Learn the form by using the Machine shoulder press.  When you have been doing that for six weeks, transfer to light dumb bells and make sure to imitate the movement
  • Keep the pace steady and after doing a rep make sure to not go too far down.  If you holding the weights at chest level you have gone too far.
  • Make sure you are well warmed up before doing it.  Nothing worse than cramping when pushing out and having a weight come hurtling towards your head…
  • If standing avoid pushing from the legs (otherwise that is a push-press)

What is your favourite weight exercise?  Why?  Drop a comment below and let me know – I might even end up quoting you.


I have been doing these exercises for so long that it isn’t always easy for me to explain.  Thanks to the following sites who helped me write this: – Dumbbell shoulder press


Mens Fitness – How to do a perfect shoulder press

Disclaimer: I am not a qualified personal trainer, I am just giving my opinion on what I think are the best things to do at the gym.  Note I do not advise how many repetitions to do – that is up to you and what you want to achieve.

You should always take into consideration your limitations and medical history.  Before starting a workout routine always seek advice from an expert.

The Top Ten:

10: Bent-over row

9: Side Raises

8: Push Press

7: Lunges

6: Tricep Extensions

5: Shoulder Press

4: Bench Press

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