The cable shoulder press is one of the best exercises to target your deltoid muscles. It is one of the few cable exercises targeting all three deltoid heads.
When done with the proper form and technique, cable shoulder presses can help a great deal in increasing the strength of the deltoid and strengthening the tricep and core muscles.
You can do a lot of work for any muscle group or work your entire body in a cable station. If you’re not using cables for shoulder work, you’re leaving a lot of potential on the weight room floor.
- Adjust the weight to an appropriate amount.
- Sit in the machine and adjust the seat so the handles are approximately at your shoulders.
- Grasping the handles, your upper arms should be about 90 degrees to the body, with your head and chest up. The elbows should also be bent to about 90 degrees. This will be your starting position.
- Begin by extending through the elbow, pressing the handles above your head.
- After pausing at the top, return the handles to the starting position.
- You can also execute this movement with your back off the pad and using alternate hands.
In the press, three muscles take the brunt of the work. Here’s some information on the key muscles involved in this exercise.
The front side of the arm houses the anterior or front head of the deltoids muscle. Because of where it sits on the upper arm, the front deltoids flex the arm forward in front of the body.
Moving around to the side of the shoulder next to the anterior deltoids is the delts lateral, the outer head responsible for elevating the arm out to the side between an angle of 15 and 100 degrees.
Your triceps play a major role in pressing objects away from the body, consisting of three heads – lateral, medial and long – these muscles make it possible to fully extend the arm (e.g., locking out the elbows at the top of the overhead press).