Smith Machine Military Press
Most Effective Shoulder Exercises

You can learn all the most effective shoulder exercises on This page talks about doing the military press on a Smith Machine.

A Smith Machine is simply a machine that has a barbell attached to a track for added stability and safety.

The Smith Machine can be good for people who are new to the barbell military press, and it can also benefit people who want to lift heavy weights without a spotter.

Below are pictures of the military press on a Smith Machine.

Effective Shoulder Exercises: Smith Machine Military Press

Starting Position: Place a seated bench inside the Smith Machine and adjust the starting height of the barbell so that you can reach it easily.

Grasp the bar so that your elbows are bent about 90 degrees when the bar is at chin level.

Form: Exhale and press the barbell over your head. Hold for a brief second and then slowly lower to the starting position.

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Personal Trainer Tips: You may have to adjust the seat a few times until you get to a comfortable position. If you are too far away from the bar, you will feel as if you are pushing forwards, and if you are too close to the bar you will have trouble clearing your chin as you press overhead.

Maintain good posture in your lower back and neck during this exercise and move in a slow and controlled manner.


There are many ways to work your shoulders. If you want to increase the stability challenge, try the seated military press with a regular barbell. And if you want to challenge your stability even further, you can perform the barbell military press while standing.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT

Learn More of the Most Effective Shoulder Exercises

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