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  • smith shoulder press: how do you set up

    tried these yesterday and had trouble getting it "right"
    aka i have no idea what im doing

    take a bench and make it vertical, move it to the smith, and press

    i tried different grips--inside rings and outside rings-- pressing from clavicles and pressing from eyes above, behind neck, etc.

    however, it just doesn't seem right. shoulders feel strained. perhaps my bench setup is too close/too far, idk. mine does have the 7degree incline though, and i press with the incline toward me.

    just wondering everyone else's thoughts on this and how thtey dealt with similar situations or have a good setup

    my only pressing experience is standing overhead barbell to the clavicles and some dumbell, so the smith just feels very far from my body and makes my shoulders feel funny. any closer and i shave my face off.

  • #2
    I always found I couldn't properly to a smith press in front of my head. But when I did them behind my head with a wide grip, only going down to the round part of my skull, they felt great.

    I adjusted the seat back, which had a slight incline, to match the slight incline of the smith machine so that I was pressing straight along how my back was oriented.

    I think you just need to use your knowledge of how pressing with a barbell feels good to try and mimic that with the smith. If that fails, you might be able to find a new way that is unique to the smith.
    Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
    kind of a douche

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sammich View Post
      I always found I couldn't properly to a smith press in front of my head. But when I did them behind my head with a wide grip, only going down to the round part of my skull, they felt great.

      I adjusted the seat back, which had a slight incline, to match the slight incline of the smith machine so that I was pressing straight along how my back was oriented.

      I think you just need to use your knowledge of how pressing with a barbell feels good to try and mimic that with the smith. If that fails, you might be able to find a new way that is unique to the smith.
      will give it a shot next time, thanks!

      ugh my shoulders are sore >

      Comment


      • #4
        I use a the conventional straight smith and IMO what works best is setting up the bench at a "high incline", one or two notches down from having the seat on the vertical position. I also crank the lower seat up a notch or two so I don't slip (gym puts plastic coats on everything). I also find that starting with the bar overhead screws up my hability to keep my upper back tight, and the movement feels weird, so I set it up in a way I start from the bottom (I think I'll have to video this to be able to explain).

        I only used an angled smith once, and I thought it was terrible for everything, but I suppose a good way to use one of these would be to set the bench in a way you press straight up with your arms. Or do it as Sammich wrote above and press from behind the head.
        "If you're ready to do DC, you're not gonna give a flying f*(k about fatigue from the previous exercise. You get under the bar and kill it, each and every time." - homonunculus

        "Nothing better than coming to IM and seeing a Wall of Text next to that big Tricep pic." - Lonnie123

        “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” - Homer

        The scale doesn't show a number. When he steps on it, it simply reads: Big Mother Fucker. - Skip

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        • #5
          we only have angled smith, sigh

          ya idk how u get into position from the bottom. its like u slide into a sandwich

          also, do you guys pin ur shoulder blades back and down like in a PL style bench? every time im on a bench its my instinct, not sure if its ideal for shoulder press smith

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          • #6
            double post
            greensoup
            Middleweight Member
            Last edited by greensoup; 01-12-2014, 07:46 AM.

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            • #7
              I can save you some trouble.

              First, if pressing to the front (and you should never press behind the neck in my opinion) then you need a seated bench that does not go any higher than your shoulder blades. If you are using a bench that ends up behind your head then it won't work because you can't arch and get into the correct position. I have a video or two on my TEAMSKIP youtube channel that will show the correct way. This way your head and shoulders are somewhat "over' the back of the bench. The bar should then barely miss your chin on the way down and end up on the meat of your upper chest if you were to bring it all the way down (which I do but not a lot of people do).

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jLRx...hfoY50&index=3

              Hope this helps.

              Skip


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ken "Skip" Hill View Post
                I can save you some trouble.

                First, if pressing to the front (and you should never press behind the neck in my opinion) then you need a seated bench that does not go any higher than your shoulder blades. If you are using a bench that ends up behind your head then it won't work because you can't arch and get into the correct position. I have a video or two on my TEAMSKIP youtube channel that will show the correct way. This way your head and shoulders are somewhat "over' the back of the bench. The bar should then barely miss your chin on the way down and end up on the meat of your upper chest if you were to bring it all the way down (which I do but not a lot of people do).

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jLRx...hfoY50&index=3

                Hope this helps.

                Skip
                good point there skip, thanks!

                all we have is just a moveable incline bench and a little seat with no back support. i might try the latter and see how that works. if not i'll just get a box of tissues and cry until they buy one

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by drcrappants View Post
                  we only have angled smith, sigh

                  ya idk how u get into position from the bottom. its like u slide into a sandwich

                  also, do you guys pin ur shoulder blades back and down like in a PL style bench? every time im on a bench its my instinct, not sure if its ideal for shoulder press smith
                  I do admit it's something a bit awkward that needs being practised a bit, like "sliding" down into a hammer strength chest press, but imo it makes the feel more natural.

                  I do pin my shoulder blades back, keeping the upper back tight during pressing movements is essential.

                  Originally posted by Ken "Skip" Hill View Post
                  I can save you some trouble.

                  First, if pressing to the front (and you should never press behind the neck in my opinion) then you need a seated bench that does not go any higher than your shoulder blades. If you are using a bench that ends up behind your head then it won't work because you can't arch and get into the correct position.
                  Actually why I came up with the "high incline"

                  Ever had any back pain/spinal compression issues from using that kind of bench Skip ? I stay the hell away from it because the angle always does it for me, anything heavier than 200 and I feel my back is gonna snap.
                  "If you're ready to do DC, you're not gonna give a flying f*(k about fatigue from the previous exercise. You get under the bar and kill it, each and every time." - homonunculus

                  "Nothing better than coming to IM and seeing a Wall of Text next to that big Tricep pic." - Lonnie123

                  “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” - Homer

                  The scale doesn't show a number. When he steps on it, it simply reads: Big Mother Fucker. - Skip

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ken "Skip" Hill View Post
                    I can save you some trouble.

                    First, if pressing to the front (and you should never press behind the neck in my opinion) then you need a seated bench that does not go any higher than your shoulder blades. If you are using a bench that ends up behind your head then it won't work because you can't arch and get into the correct position. I have a video or two on my TEAMSKIP youtube channel that will show the correct way. This way your head and shoulders are somewhat "over' the back of the bench. The bar should then barely miss your chin on the way down and end up on the meat of your upper chest if you were to bring it all the way down (which I do but not a lot of people do).

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jLRx...hfoY50&index=3

                    Hope this helps.

                    Skip
                    Skip beat me to it..... I set up the same way when I do them, kinda arch and my head is somewhat behind the plane of the seat. I bring the bar to my chin and then back up....contrary to what Sammich said, behind the neck KILLS be on smith press, yet with a free bar feels better to me, lol. I guess this shows how we are all different.....
                    STEEL




                    "SIMPLICITY, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by steel1970 View Post
                      , behind the neck KILLS be on smith press, yet with a free bar feels better to me, lol. I guess this shows how we are all different.....
                      We sure are all different...
                      If I angle the seat back one notch and only bring the bar down slightly below my ears I get a great shoulder workout doing smith behind the neck presses. With that said I do a lot of warm ups AND the seat has to be the perfect distance from the bar. Also when I was young and dumb I did a lot of free bar BTNP and would touch the bar all the way down to my traps. At 17 years old I could get away with that and MAYBE that is why I have a little more flexibility with this exercise.

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                      • #12
                        thoughts on tucking elbows, and any emphasis on a particular delt? front/side/rear

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                        • #13
                          No.

                          Skip
                          Originally posted by 0001Delta View Post
                          I do admit it's something a bit awkward that needs being practised a bit, like "sliding" down into a hammer strength chest press, but imo it makes the feel more natural.

                          I do pin my shoulder blades back, keeping the upper back tight during pressing movements is essential.



                          Actually why I came up with the "high incline"

                          Ever had any back pain/spinal compression issues from using that kind of bench Skip ? I stay the hell away from it because the angle always does it for me, anything heavier than 200 and I feel my back is gonna snap.


                          Facebook: Skip Hill
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                          YouTube: TEAMSKIP
                          TikTok: @intensemuscle


                          For Training Inquiries: [email protected]

                          Use discount code "SKIP" and get your TEAM SKIP protein here: www.TrueNutrition.com/TEAMSKIPblend

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