How to get bigger shoulders

The overhead shoulder press is one of the very best lifts for building bigger, broader and wider shoulders so master the movement and you’ll start adding serious size and strength across your upper body!

Head start
The bar starts across your upper chest below your chin, so your head must tilt backwards slightly as you push the bar up in the straightest line possible to avoid hitting your chin and nose. As you press the bar up, tilt your head backwards enough so that the bar just misses your nose on the way up.

Shoulder squeeze
At the start of each rep focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together, then focus on using your shoulders to initiate the lift and get the bar moving. Lower the bar back down under control, ensuring that your shoulders are fully engaged and managing the weight with good form.

Chest high
You need to keep the chest up and high during each rep to maintain a strong and stable upper back, which in turn allows better and smoother movement patterns of all the muscles and joints involved in the lift, especially the shoulders, which are one of the most easily-damaged joints in the body.

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Strong wrists
The better the starting position of your wrists, the better you can initiate the move with a strong push. You want your wrists to be strong and straight to create the optimal pressing path. Bent wrists will stress the joint and reduce your strength potential.

Hands apart
The wider apart your hands are on the bar the weaker you will be and the less weight you will be able to lift, while going too narrow will place excess strain on your wrists and elbows. Take a grip around shoulder-width apart and keep your elbows directly underneath your wrists to keep you in the strongest bio-mechanical position possible for the lift.

Core engaged
As with all big lifts, a stronger core provides a solid platform for the heaviest lift possible, and prevents an excessive load on your lower back. Engage and brace your abs during each and every rep to keep your upper body as stable as possible for the duration of the set.

Want bigger and stronger arms? Try these four triceps-building tips to add lean muscle mass quickly!

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