Smith Machine Military Press


The smith machine military press is one of the best exercises for isolating front delts. Also known as a smith machine shoulder press, this exercise will help you to get stronger and lift heavy weights. Unlike using free weights to perform shoulder presses, smith machine variation keeps your muscles under constant tension by employing a fixed plane of movements.  It is way safer then barbell or dumbbell military presses, and less straining your shoulder joints.


Smith Machine Military Press instruction

1. To begin, place a weight bench under your smith machine. When choosing the proper bench adjustment, always use the second notch from the top, which should place the backrest at an 80 - to 85 - degree angle. Never set the bench at 90 degrees, because this angle can place a tremendous amount of stress on your shoulder joint during the exercise. If you feel any discomfort in your shoulder joint when you are performing the exercise, stop and readjust the bench.bench-set-up

2. After you have adjusted the bench, the bar should travel within 3 inches of your face.

3. Use a thumbs-over grip, with your forearms perpendicular to the floor. An easy way to make sure that your arms will be perpendicular to the floor is to rack the bar at a height that allows you to make a 90-degree angle between your forearm and upper arm when you grip the bar.


4. Maintain proper posture, with your shoulders squeezed back.

5. Unrack the weight and begin the negative phase of the lift. 

6. Bring the bar down to the breaking point If you experience pain going this deep, instead stop at a point where no pain is experienced.


7. Begin the positive phase of the lift, pressing up to the highest point while maintaining continuous tension. 



Your spotter should stand on one side of the machine and position himself so that the bar is right over his shoulder and resting on his hand, which is supporting the bar in a palms-up position. This position allows the spotter to use his legs in a squatting-type movement to generate power for any assistance he may have to give. This position also provides a relatively comfortable position and grip for the spotter if the weight is heavy.



 You can use the partial range of motion and pausing techniques. 



 The spotter positions himself as previously described. The weight should be just enough for you to perform 4 reps to concentric failure. Unrack the bar and allow it to travel down approximately 4 inches. At this point, the spotter begins to pull down on the bar as you attempt to push up with your maximum force. As the bar approaches your forehead, the spotter should reduce the pressure being applied. Just before the breaking point, the spotter should get ready to assist you by helping as much as possible to move the weight back through the positive phase.




Behind the neck 

Attempting to do military presses behind the neck forces your head down, and you will lose proper posture. This can lead to neck and shoulder injuries. Perform this exercise in the front only

Too wide of a grip

This will limit range of motion or travel, limiting muscle contraction. This grip can cause stress on the shoulder, causing pain and injury. Adjust your grip so that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor.



Too narrow of a grip 

This will cause your triceps to take over the lift, removing isolation of your delt. Adjust your grip so that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor.


Going below the breaking point

 This can cause pain and injury to your shoulder joint. Go to the breaking point only.


Not using thumbs-over grip 

This can cause irritation to your shoulder joint. Use the thumbs-over grip to stop your shoulder from shifting.


Fast-falling negatives


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