Seated overhead presses using a machine strengthen and tone the shoulder muscles as well as muscles in back of the upper arm.


This exercise assumes you are using an overhead press machine. Your machine may differ from the one demonstrated here, so be sure to read and follow the instruction placard for details on adjusting and using your machine. Or ask for help from the weight-room supervisor.

Make appropriate adjustments before beginning the exercise. Adjust the seat height so your shoulders are level with the handles and your feet are comfortable on the foot rest or flat on the floor. Move the pin in the weight stack to a very light weight until you become familiar with the exercise. The weight should feel heavy enough so that by the eighth or ninth repetition, you begin to feel light fatigue in the shoulders.

Start the exercise by gripping the handles firmly. Slowly raise the weight stack, pause momentarily at the top, then slowly lower the handles to the start position. Breathe regularly throughout the exercise. Do not lock your elbows or slam the weights. Count one-two on the upward motion, one two on the pause, and one-two-three-four on the return. One-two. One-two. One-two-three-four.

When you are comfortable with the exercise, gradually increase the weight load until you can do 8 to 10 repetitions using proper form. Once you can achieve 12 or more repetitions, increase the weight to bring you back to the 8-to-10-repetition target zone.


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