Smith machine shoulder press

The Smith machine shoulder press is a machine-based exercise targeting the deltoid muscles. The Smith machine mimics a barbell but provides more stability. This movement can be programmed in low reps for strength or higher reps for muscle and strength endurance. It is often performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps per set or more, as part of a shoulder or upper-body focused workout.


  1. Adds size and strength to the shoulders
  2. Can press intensely without fear of dropping the bar
  3. The bar moves on a track making it easier to get into position and control

Smith machine shoulder press Images


Smith machine shoulder press Instructions

Smith machine shoulder press muscle diagram
  1. To begin, place a flat bench (or preferably one with back support) underneath a smith machine. Position the barbell at a height so that when seated on the flat bench, the arms must be almost fully extended to reach the barbell.
  2. Once you have the correct height, sit slightly in behind the barbell so that there is an imaginary straight line from the tip of your nose to the barbell. Your feet should be stationary. Grab the barbell with the palms facing forward, unlock it and lift it up so that your arms are fully extended. This is the starting position.
  3. Slowly begin to lower the barbell until it is level with your chin while inhaling.
  4. Then lift the barbell back to the starting position using your shoulders while exhaling.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variation: You can use dumbbells or a barbell to perform this exercise.