The Smith machine can be used for a blistering shoulder workout; it’s not just for squats.

Here is a unique workout with just one exercise using the Smith machine.

Most people think to use a standard weightlifting bench, placed under the bar.

However, you may want to try a stability ball to sit on.

Using the stability ball offers the benefit of not having to hassle with getting an unwieldy bench positioned perfectly under the center of the bar. The ball can easily be adjusted by simply rolling it.

However, using the ball means there will be core activation, since nothing will be supporting your spine as you lift.

Get positioned close up to the bar and press it overhead to full elbow extension.

Hand width can vary, but the closer they are to each other, the less emphasis on the deltoids and the more emphasis on the triceps.

So place your hands so that you’re feeling it mostly in the shoulders.

Lower the bar rather slowly, all the way to below the neck before pushing it back up.

Make sure the weight is heavy enough to make more than 12 reps impossible, but 10 possible.

Do five sets, but take only 45 seconds in between each set.

You’ll notice a rapid buildup of a burning fatigue, which will prevent you from doing as many reps on the subsequent sets as you did on the first set.

Due to the Smith machine’s tracked bar, it’s tempting to avoid pushing it all the way up as fatigue sets in.

Fight to push the bar all the way up: full extension. Do not give into the fatigue and “short-stroke” your repetitions.

It’s important to get the full extension, but this doesn’t mean you must lock out your elbows. Do your best to get a good extension.

If you don’t think this is a killer shoulder workout, you didn’t use heavy enough weight on the Smith machine.

Remember not to lock out your elbows at the top of the movement.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
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