Are the Hammer Shoulder-Press Machines Effective?

Hammer Strength machines offer shoulder-strengthening workout variety. The machines are effective as they provide variable and progressive resistance. This means you can adjust the weight to match your workout goals whether you want to achieve muscular tone, strength or endurance. The Hammer shoulder press is found at many fitness clubs and is an essential piece of upper-body training equipment.

A woman is using a shoulder press machine. (Image: IT Stock/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Hammer Time

Hammer Strength is a brand of strength-training equipment. The company makes many pieces of equipment including the shoulder press. The seat is adjustable for different heights and has a belt to hold you down when you press heavy amounts of weight. The back pad is angled to protect your back from unnecessary extension. The motion is easy to learn. You press the handles overhead and then return them to the starting position with your hands above your shoulders.

Blast the Deltoids

According to Dave Draper, author of "Brother Iron, Sister Steel," your shoulders, or deltoid muscles, are effectively targeted with the Hammer shoulder press. The shoulder press concentrates on the anterior and lateral deltoid heads, meaning the fronts and sides of your shoulders. As you press the handles overhead and raise the resistance, your shoulders contract to support and move the weight.

Set the Resistance

The key to effective training is using the proper resistance. The Hammer press uses weight plates that are added to each arm. The arm alone weighs 10 pounds. Add weight until you reach a resistance that lets you complete one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions. Your final two repetitions in each set should be challenging to the point your shoulders are fatigued. As long as you challenge the muscles to fatigue, your workout should be effective.

Individual Benefits

One of the positives of the Hammer shoulder press is that you can train your arms individually. The handles move independently of each other for equal training on both shoulders. Also, according to the "Men's Health Big Book of Muscle," compared with other shoulder press machines, the Hammer machine doesn't overly restrict your shoulder joint movement, which may cause injuries.

Vary Your Workout

It is always wise to perform a variety of shoulder exercises. While the Hammer shoulder press is effective, it shouldn't be the only shoulder-strengthening exercise you perform. Alternate the machine workout with free-weight movements such as dumbbell raises or presses or barbell upright rows. This workout variation prevents overuse injuries and keeps your workouts from getting boring.

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