Overhead Press Machine
Tricep and Shoulder Exercise

This page talks about the overhead press shoulder machine.

This machine works all parts of the shoulder, although the emphasis is on the middle and front part of the shoulder.

In addition, this exercise also works the tricep muscles.

I say this often, but it bears repeating. Every exercise has benefits and risks.

The shoulder is vulnerable to injury when pressing overhead, so it is important that you listen to your body and pay attention to your form.

If you've had a major neck or shoulder injury, you should consult with a health professional before beginning an upper body workout routine.

You can view pictures and get some tips for this exercise below.

Shoulder Exercises: Overhead Press Machine

Starting Position: Adjust the seat height so that you are comfortable in the machine. If the machine had markers for pivot points, do your best to align your body with those pivot points.

Grasp the handles and keep your spine and head in good alignment.

Form: While keeping your core muscles engaged, exhale and press your arms over your head. Hold for a brief second at the top and then slowly lower back to the starting position.

shoulder exercisesshoulder exercises

shoulder exercisesshoulder exercises

Personal Trainer Tips: As with all exercises, posture is very important. Make sure that your back does not arch excessively when you press over head.

2 Different Arm Positions

Most machines have 2 different arm positions (abducted or neutral).

In the neutral position, your arms are facing each other. This position is generally less compressive on the shoulder, and it emphasizes the front part of the shoulder a little more.

In the abducted position the arms are out to the side and facing forwards. This position works more of the shoulder muscle, but it generally places more pressure on the shoulder joint.

Try both grips and stick with the one that you like the most.

You can also do the military press with dumbbells or a barbell.


Pressing over head is a great way to strengthen the shoulder muscles, but use caution if you have a history of shoulder or neck pain.

Rotator cuff strengthening is also very important for people who routinely perform overhead exercises, so remember to include rotator cuff exercises in your workouts.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT

Return to the Main Shoulder Exercises Page from the Overhead Press Machine

Go to the Home Page of All About Arm Exercises

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