Have you been struggling to build wide and full shoulder muscles? Is your usual shoulder workout getting stale?

Barbell presses can be very helpful for many reasons. One of these reasons is that using a barbell machine is a great way to isolate the shoulder muscles. While standing raises and free weight presses are great workouts, they do not isolate the shoulder muscles as directly as a press machine is able to do. Non-machine based shoulder workouts require the use of supportive muscles. These muscles include the abs and back, which take away from the full load being placed on the targeted shoulder muscles. 

Shoulder press machines, also known as the smith machine, are a staple workout for many professional athletes. This is because of the unrivaled targeted and direct shoulder workout they provide. They put less stress on your back than standing barbell presses and can help you focus solely on working the front and rear deltoid. Not only that, but they also hit the ever important trapezius muscles. Unlike free weight presses, the shoulder press machine doesn’t require balance or stabilization. It allows for more effort to be focused on fully contracting the muscles you are aiming for.

Why Invest In A Shoulder Press Machine?

Man Working Out Shoulder Press MachineBuilding large shoulders requires a variety of different shoulder workouts and the Smith machine is one of the main workouts that can help you get them stronger than ever. They are a staple shoulder workout that mainly targets the front deltoids but can also work the rear deltoids and trapezius muscles in some models that feature different grip options.

The seated machine shoulder press is perfect if you have difficulty focusing on your shoulder muscles. A lot of the time, stabilization is difficult when using free weights as a beginner. In addition, if you have a history of shoulder problems it can be even more painful. Even for the fitness expert who is looking for a more concentrated shoulder exercise, adding a machine shoulder press to your workout is one of the most effective ways to get those boulder shoulders you work so hard for.

The fixed movement of the shoulder press machine has been criticized because of it being a non-functional movement – that is, it is fixed and does not activate supporting muscle groups outside of the shoulders. This has actually been disproven, as many expert trainers and athletes incorporate shoulder machines to get a deep isolation workout. Even the most successful weight lifters endorse the use of shoulder press machines, but what makes them so beneficial?

Benefits of a Shoulder Press Machine

Benefits of Shoulder Press Machine


The machine shoulder press is the best way to get constant, healthy stress and tension on the deltoid muscles. This tension is not focused anywhere else but the muscle you are targeting, helping you to get a deep burn and in turn faster results. Whether you are performing close grip front deltoid or wider rear deltoid presses, shoulder press machines can work your muscles to their core, and the soreness you will feel the next day will be evidence that it is getting the job done.


When you perform exercises that require stability and the use of supporting muscle groups, there is more of a chance to pull or strain muscles than if the motion is focused and fixed. Shoulder press machines are a great option for athletes who want to stay safe. This is especially important after recovering from an injury. Plus, it can help those who just want a more targeted shoulder exercise option. For those who want stability and also a more natural feeling motion, there are shoulder press machines designed just for that purpose. 

Learn to “Feel”

All expert trainers will tell you that to get the most out of your workouts, it is extremely helpful to picture the muscles you are working being flexed and to really feel them contracting fully while lifting. This has been proven to help increase the effectiveness of workouts by up to 60% in most cases. Shoulder press machines are perfect for allowing you to focus on this mind-to-muscle connection and can help you perfect your form without worrying about balance or stability during the movement.

When looking for a machine shoulder press, always keep a lookout if the machine needs weight plates or has included weight racks included. If you need help finding a great set of weights, check out our guide here.

Choosing the Best Shoulder Press Machine

Now that you have a better understanding of why shoulder press machines are so useful, how can you pick the best one for your home gym? Shoulder press machines can have different grip styles, sizes, movements, and build types so it can be hard to know which is best for you. This is where we come in – read on to learn about some of our favorite picks and why they deserve your investment.

1. Body Solid Shoulder Press Machine: The Power of Leverage

Body Solid Shoulder Press MachineWhen you are looking for a shoulder press machine, you want to keep an eye out for machines that encourage a smooth, natural motion. The body solid machine shoulder press is made to do just that and is perfect for building rock-hard shoulders. This machine uses a unique converging motion that gets you a deeper shoulder burn that targets the entire deltoid and trapezius muscles. In addition, you can press one arm at a time to get an even further isolation shoulder workout.


  • 11 gauge steel frame for durability and stability
  • Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
  • Multiple grip positions
  • Adjustable seat and press arms
  • High-quality vinyl upholstery

Who Makes It?

Built for life, built with a vision – this is the company’s slogan. It very accurately represents the quality and care that goes into each of their products. They have over 30 years of experience in the fitness industry and have continued to listen to their customers and perfect their products throughout this time. Body Solid’s dedication to quality craftsmanship and customer service have enabled them to become very well-respected within the fitness industry. In particular, the company is most widely known for the industry-leading “Built for Life” lifetime warranty. Furthermore, they also offer strong commercial warranties to all of their customers.

The Bottom Line

Always want to keep an eye out for great companies who are known for making durable, well-built equipment. The Body Solid shoulder press machine is made from years of knowledge and experience that have been applied to make a machine that is safe, smooth, and perfect for any home gym. Its unique range of motion gives a very natural feel during reps. Not only that, but it will definitely challenge you and help grow each of the important shoulder muscles. Its durable construction, lifetime warranty, and smooth feel make it a great choice for fitness enthusiasts of all experience levels.

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2. Yukon Fitness Shoulder Machine: Compact and Versatile

Yukon Fitness Shoulder MachineThe Yukon Fitness machine shoulder press is designed to fit easily into any home gym setup while also providing a comfortable and supported shoulder press movement. The innovative design features two shoulder pads. This enables you to not only do overhead presses but also to perform lateral raises. These pads help make this machine a real total-shoulder workout machine that can work every muscle you need to. At a more affordable price point than other machines on the list, Yukon’s shoulder press machine is a great choice for anyone looking to upgrade their home shoulder routine.


  • Iso-lateral delt raises and shoulder press movements
  • Adjustable seat
  • 4 grip positions
  • 400lb weight capacity

Who Makes It?

Yukon fitness is here to help you reach your fitness peak, and they design their equipment to do just that. The company has been providing customers with affordable high-quality home gym equipment for over 20 years. They also have a loyal customer base that appreciates the care they put into their products. Yukon’s equipment is always built with very strong and durable materials that are built to last. This is why their equipment is a great investment for your health. The company even has an open warehouse at their home in Colorado that customers can stop by to see the equipment and team first-hand. This really shows the personal connection Yukon has with their community.

The Bottom Line

The Yukon Fitness shoulder press machine is a very well-crafted and sturdy piece of equipment. It is perfect for newcomers and veterans alike. This is evident because it is made with such quality that you will easily be able to take your shoulder workouts to the next level. The features that help this product stand out are the added shoulder pads that allow you to also perform lateral raises and get an even deeper shoulder pump. The comfortable ergonomically designed seat is a great addition as well. It helps keep you comfortable and in control. This machine is very competitive on price and will not take up a lot of room in your workout room, either. Overall, Yukon has given a great shoulder press machine that is versatile and affordable.

3. TDS Shoulder Press Machine: The Cost-Effective Shoulder Machine

TDS Shoulder Press MachineThe TDS seated shoulder press machine is one of the best picks on our list because of how affordable and well-made it is. The small details of the machine are made incredibly well including the comfortable seat and durable yet comfortable grips and upholstery of the lateral raise pads. The machine even features a special “U” frame design that helps keep the machine perfectly stable during even the heaviest exercises. The machine is very space efficient, durable, and also comes in as the most affordable option included in our list.


  • Independent arm movement
  • Thick contour seat for extra comfort
  • Thick and durable pillow bearings to ensure durability
  • Lateral raise shoulder pads
  • 500lb weight capacity

Who Makes It?

TDS is a veteran in the fitness arena as they have been around for over 40 years. They are known for their heavy-duty construction and dedication to the industry. Due to this, they are known to provide innovative and forward-thinking equipment. They provide this equipment to commercial and home gyms alike. Their customers love their products because of the care and craftsmanship that goes into each machine – not to mention the always competitive price point they strive to maintain. The company is always on the cutting-edge of home fitness equipment. This is because of the smooth feel and hardy nature of all of their products. Due to this hard-earned reputation, they have become well-respected throughout the fitness equipment industry.

The Bottom Line

This shoulder press machine is not only the most affordable, but also handles more of a weight capacity than any other machine we have included. It is not the biggest or most diverse machine, but its compact design and versatile capabilities make it one of our favorite picks. The addition of the padded bearings where the arms come down make it much more durable than its competitors. This careful addition will ensure you can enjoy the benefits of this great machine shoulder press for years to come. Affordable, compact, and smooth, the TDS machine shoulder press is one of the best home shoulder press machines on the market.

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Your Complete Guide To Finding the Best Shoulder Press Machine

Now that you have seen some of the highest quality seated shoulder press machines on the market, how do you know which one is right for your home gym? While many of the machines may seem pretty similar, there are some key differences to keep in mind when making your decision.


Money is always an important factor that will no doubt influence your decision. The most expensive choice in our list gives you the highest quality steel frame design along with a lifetime warranty from one of the most highly respected brands in the industry. Less expensive models, on the other hand, are not bad choices by any means. They are very durable and fun to use machines that also include additional attachments. As a result, you get an even more versatile piece of equipment.

When you are looking at the various models keep in mind how much you are willing to spend and the trade-offs between the different models.

Workout Preferences

Do you want to have options with your shoulder machine? Or, do you simply want it to allow for a great shoulder press workout?

If you are looking for a simple machine, the third option in our list is the most affordable. It is also very easy to use. Not only this, but it is also one of the most durable and well-made machines on the market. There is no doubt it will get you a challenging and steady shoulder workout every time you use it. The Body Solid and Yukon models, on the other hand, are more diverse. They have extra grip options so you can switch up your routine and hit more of the shoulder muscle groups during your workout.

Build Type

Do you want the type of machine shoulder press you find in a gym or are you looking for a more compact and home-specific type of model? Either way, there are options for you. The Body Solid shoulder press machine is definitely designed to be similar to the type of machines you find in a gym but is slightly tailored to be more fitting in your home with its compact design and weight racks.

Other options are slightly more space efficient and do not resemble the heavy-duty look of the gym-style shoulder press machines. While this is true, they are not quite as durable and high-performance as the Body Solid model. While all of the models will get you a challenging workout and are built to last, the Body Solid model is the closest to the amazing feel and quality of high-end shoulder press machines found in gyms across the country.

How To Get The Most Out of Your Shoulder Press Machine

Fitness Man Working Out Using Shoulder Press MachineUsing your shoulder press machine is pretty straightforward. The main way to use the machines included in our list involves simply loading weight onto the racks on each side and slowly pushing upward while resisting the weight on the way down. Always try to perform reps slowly and under control rather than quickly in order to lower the chance of injury while also improving the growth and depth of your shoulder workouts. This will also help you work on your mind to muscle connection and get more effective reps.

Furthermore, be sure that you always fully contract the shoulder muscles and get the full range of motion in order to to get the most complete shoulder workout you can. If you perform the movements slowly, focus on full contraction, and workout for reps versus weight, you will begin to see better results from your shoulder routine.

One of the best ways to work your shoulders is by taking the high rep and lower weight approach. Bodybuilders and professional trainers widely agree that the shoulder muscles benefit more from this approach to training rather than low rep and high weight training because of the type of muscles that the shoulders are. As you can see from fitness titan Josh Bowmar, he performs shoulder exercises for reps rather than weight, and he is one of the strongest and most built athletes around today.

Always try to keep good form and not overexert your shoulders to avoid injury and to make continual progress. In addition, try to switch up your routine and incorporate all of the grip positions and attachments included with your machine to confuse your muscles and get the best results possible.

Why Add a Shoulder Press Machine To Your Collection?

Shoulders are a key muscle group that requires a great deal of attention and effort to grow. Shoulder press machines are widely used by expert trainers and bodybuilders because of their unrivaled ability to isolate the front and rear deltoids more than free weight exercises are able to do. In combination with these free weight exercises, you can get a more well-rounded and challenging shoulder workout.

What other machines can do that from the comfort of your own home?

You can also provide your clients with a great way to challenge themselves with a new shoulder workout. This new option can help them conquer those plateaus more quickly. It never hurts to learn more about best practices for using shoulder machines either.

The Bottom Line on Shoulder Press Machines

Here’s the deal – shoulder press machines are all relatively similar at the end of the day. While this is true, each of them has its own unique feel and style. Each of these will most likely appeal to some more than others. Regardless of your preferences, investing in a machine shoulder press will no doubt help take your shoulder gains to the next level. Keep in mind the points we have listed above that include your budget, workout style, and also the type of machines you enjoy using.

Always be careful to keep your weight on the lower side and reps on the higher side. This helps to get acclimated and reduce the risk of injury. All of the options listed above prove that all of the shoulder press machines in this list can make for great additions to any gym. In combination with a great diet plan and complete upper body workout, you can use your machine shoulder press to burn calories and grow stronger shoulders. Whether you enjoy larger gym-style machines or more conventional designs, use the products and tips in our list to help find your ideal machine.

Have you tried any of the models included in our list? What did you love about your new shoulder press machine? Let us know in the comments below!