The benefits of the shoulder press machine are many: improved shoulder strength and muscle mass, no need to kick dumbells up to your shoulders, increased stability, etc. hydraulic press machine

But many gyms are sorely lacking when it comes to shoulder press machines. They may not have one at all or one that simply doesn’t work well.

What would you say if I were to tell you that you can not only very easily make your own shoulder press out of common gym equipment, it actually works even better than machines specifically designed for shoulder pressing!

How To Build It:

In order to build this, you’ll need two Olympic Bars (one bar will do if you don’t have two but you’ll then you’ll have to do the exercise one arm at a time), a power rack and some weight plates. Nothing fancy here.

Essentially, you’ll be using the two bars, set inside the rack, as levers. You’ll be outside the rack to either the left or right side, facing in, pushing up on the ends of the two bars as though they were the handles of a machine.

To maximize the effectiveness of this exercise, we’ll need a rather specific setup. Once you know how to set the exercise up, you’ll find it’s just as quick as any other rack exercise setup.

Start by setting a flat bench beside the rack, with the end about a foot from the side of the rack. This is what you’ll be sitting on as you do the exercise. Next, we’ll be setting the height of your safety rails in the rack. The height will vary somewhat, depending on how tall you are.

Sit on your bench, facing the rack, and set the safety rail right in front of you to a little above your shoulder height. The other safety rail should be set about 2 feet higher than this rail. Having the other end higher is necessary for proper and safe functioning of the movement. The two Olympic bars should not go much higher than horizontal at the top of the movement. This is especially important if the safety rails on your rack are smooth metal. If the bars go higher than horizontal, you may end up sliding them forward rather than up.

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