Why it's on the list: Using a barbell rather than dumbbells may seem like a matter of taste, but there are functional reasons to pick the big bar. For one, you can put a bench in a rack and press off of the safety pins, allowing you to dial in your desired range of motion. Doing barbell-style presses on a Smith machine also allows you to safely push a bit closer to failure than other press variations and really focus on performing slow negatives.
Seated Barbell Press Variations for Shoulder Development:
- Seated military press
- Smith machine shoulder press
- Smith machine behind-the-neck press (if your shoulders can tolerate it)
- Machine shoulder press
In your workout: Do these first in your workout and use challenging weights for sets of 6-8 reps. That's how bodybuilder Lawrence Ballenger starts his Boulder Shoulder workout before moving on to lighter lifts.
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10 Best Shoulder Workout Exercises for Building Muscle