Train Your Core and Shoulders at the Same Time With These Shoulder Press Variations

These movements will strengthen your core and shoulders for maximum performance on the field.

Efficient training programs are something all athletes are looking for.

Performing Bent-Over Rows trains your grip strength as well as your pulling strength.

Performing Overhead Squats will train leg strength as well as shoulder stability and strength. One way to create more efficient programs is to incorporate core training into your main exercises.

Kneeling and half-kneeling exercises offer less support to your trunk than do seated variations. While this means that you won't be able to lift as much weight, it places more stress on the core and forces the athlete maintain an upright position.

If you are an athlete, training your core under load is an aspect of training that is too often overlooked. The only reason we train off field is to make better athletes on the field. If an athlete can Bench Press 400 pounds but has no core strength, their ability to translate that onto the field will be diminished.

Dumbbell Press Variations

Below is a progression from the most supported position to the least supported position.

  • Seated Supported DB Shoulder Press
  • Seated Supported Single-Arm DB Shoulder Press
  • Seated Unsupported DB Shoulder Press
  • Seated Unsupported Single-Arm DB Shoulder Press
  • Tall Kneeling DB Shoulder Press
  • Tall Kneeling Single-Arm DB Shoulder Press
  • Half Kneeling DB Shoulder Press
  • Half Kneeling Single-Arm DB Shoulder Press

Regardless of the exercises the following cues will always hold true:

Glutes Engaged

When seated your feet should be planted and knees firmly held over your feet. When in a tall kneeling position, squeeze your glutes so that your hips are directly under your ribs. While performing the half-kneeling variation of the Shoulder Press, keep your front knee from collapsing and keep your back glute tight.

No Shrugging

A common mistake for athletes performing the Shoulder Press is to bring the shoulders up during the pressing movement. Avoiding shrugging will lead to more stable shoulders and less training injuries.

Head Neutral

Ensure your head is not tilting from side to side or forward. This can put extra stress on the neck muscles and risk injury.

Ribs Down

Your body instinctively will want to arch. As you press overhead, keep your ribs on top of your hips. This will train anti-extension, the same movement you train while performing Planks.

Toes Dug In

While performing kneeling exercises, flex your ankles and dig your toes in to provide a more stable platform.