How to Use the Overhead Press Machine

For shoulders and arms, few gym machines are more effective than the Overhead Press. It works the deltoid muscles, or the sides of your shoulders, which are good for lifting boxes from shelves or picking up a small child. If you’ve never used this popular piece of equipment, this should get you started.

In this exercise, you’ll be moving both your shoulders and your elbows.

The Setup
Adjust the seat height so the handles or bars are about even with your shoulders.

The Weight
Start small; for toning, add weight until you find a weight that allows you to do 8-12 repetitions before you start to lose proper form.

The Position
 Sit with your back up against the seat and your feet flat on the floor or firmly on a foot bar, if there is one.

The Move
Grasp the handles and press the weight up in a smooth, slow motion until your arms are extended, but don’t lock your elbows. Lower the weight back down to shoulder height, without allowing the lifted weight to rest on the weight stack. Be sure to breath; exhale on the lift up, inhale while bringing it down.

Body Benefit
Shapely shoulders that can carry boxes, grocery bags, or baby.