Standing Smith Machine Shoulder Press

Exercise / Shoulders

Standing Smith Machine Shoulder Press

The standing Smith machine shoulder press is a compound exercise that targets the shoulders, particularly the deltoid muscles, as well as the triceps and upper back muscles. It is performed using a Smith machine, which provides a guided and controlled range of motion. Here’s how you can perform the standing Smith machine shoulder press:

How to do:

Standing Smith Machine Shoulder Press

  1. Position the Smith machine barbell at an appropriate height. The bar should be level with your shoulders when you’re standing.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing the Smith machine. Position yourself under the bar, ensuring it is balanced and stable.
  3. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your palms should be facing forward.
  4. Engage your core and maintain proper posture throughout the exercise, with your chest lifted and shoulders back.
  5. Begin by bending your elbows and lowering the bar towards your shoulders, with your forearms perpendicular to the floor.
  6. Press the barbell upward by extending your arms fully, exhaling as you lift.
  7. Pause briefly at the top of the movement, ensuring your arms are fully extended but not locked out.
  8. Lower the barbell back down under control, inhaling as you descend, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Maintain proper form and alignment throughout the exercise. Avoid excessive arching of the lower back or leaning backward.
  • Keep your core engaged and glutes slightly squeezed for stability and to prevent excessive lower back arching.
  • Maintain a neutral neck position, avoiding excessive forward or backward head movement.
  • Focus on a controlled and smooth range of motion, avoiding jerking or using momentum to lift the barbell.
  • Keep your elbows slightly forward, rather than letting them flare out to the sides, to engage the shoulder muscles more effectively.
  • Breathe naturally throughout the exercise, exhaling during the concentric (lifting) phase and inhaling during the eccentric (lowering) phase.
  • Use a weight that challenges you while still allowing for proper form and control. Gradually increase the weight as your strength improves. If you experience any discomfort or pain, reduce the weight or consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider.

Standing Smith Machine Shoulder Press – Benefits

Shoulder Muscle Development: The standing Smith machine shoulder press primarily targets the deltoid muscles, helping to strengthen and develop the shoulders. This can improve shoulder size, strength, and definition.

Upper Body Strength: The exercise also engages the triceps and upper back muscles, contributing to overall upper body strength and muscle development.

Shoulder Stability: By strengthening the shoulder muscles, including the deltoids and rotator cuff, the standing Smith machine shoulder press can enhance shoulder stability and support joint health.

Controlled Range of Motion: The Smith machine provides a guided range of motion, allowing for controlled and safe movement while reducing the risk of injury.

Standing Smith Machine Shoulder Press – Muscles Worked

Target - Anterior Deltoid
Synergists - Supraspinatus
Synergists - Triceps
Synergists - Lateral Deltoid
Synergists - Trapezius
Synergists - Serratus Anterior
Stabilizers - Levatos Scapula
shoulder press muscle worked