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  1. #1
    Acolyte of the flux
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    Chest/shoulder press - just training my triceps?

    Quick question:

    With both the shoulder press and the chest press machines (normal or C-curve), I feel like I'm just training my triceps. They're all I feel. Now, it's got to be posture, since my shoulders are a lot weaker than my triceps and I doubt my triceps would have trouble lifting... I won't give the exact weight to spare myself the embarrassment. But I've tried adjusting my seating height, but that didn't make a difference at all. I've also tried experimenting with different ways of gripping the bar, but I haven't found much difference there either. Still, it could be in there.

    Any tips, possible solutions, things that might help, how you do the exercises, anything?
    ."We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
    (Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan)

  2. #2
    Kein Ayin Hara JUB Admin KaraBulut's Avatar
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    Re: Chest/shoulder press - just training my tricep

    Shoulder press also works the upper part of the pec, the traps and the lats. If you feel like it's working just your triceps, then try the shoulder press machines where the bench is at an incline or- better yet- switch to using free weights or the cable press/fly machines. (http://www.physicalfitnet.com/exerci...hand_grip.aspx)

    The same is true of the bench press machines. If you feel like it is focusing your arm muscles, switch to using the fly machines(http://us.commercial.lifefitness.com...lyreardelt.jpg), the cable fly machines or doing flys with dumbells.

    These machines are fine for when you're in a hurry or you want to focus on a specific muscle (e.g. preacher curls). But the limitation is that they force the work into a single plane of motion. The great thing about using free weights is that they force you to use muscles all over your body to balance your spine and control the weight. You'll get more bang for your buck using barbells and dumbells since you must use multiple muscles to control the weight and it allows you to move in multiple planes.

    When you are using these machines, make sure that you are using a weight that allows you to focus on the particular muscles you're wanting to work. You're better off lowering the weight and doing the motion slowly and completely than using a higher weight that prevents you from focusing on the muscles you're working. Don't be embarassed about lowering the weight- it's not a weight lifting contest, it's about developing strength and tone.

    This site has some good videos of different exercises to try. Vary your routine by doing different exercises. Muscles like to be challenged and doing the same exercise on a machine day after day doesn't challenge the muscles:
    http://www.physicalfitnet.com/exerci..*****rcises.aspx

  3. #3
    Sex God torontoguy22's Avatar
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    Re: Chest/shoulder press - just training my tricep

    Ya, lose the weight machines if you can. Free weights are always optimal. Perhaps you've been using the weight machines too long, and your stabilizer muscles like the triceps were neglected. With free weights, all those little stabilizer muscles would be needed to lift the weight, so you yield more holistic muscle-building. The first post was good...listen to him lol.

  4. #4
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    Re: Chest/shoulder press - just training my tricep

    Thanks guys.

    I'm always in a hurry, but I do indeed believe that free weights would be more beneficial for me. That would take a fair bit of education beforehand. What exercises are there, what do they train... I'll check KaraBulut's links for that and I know my library has stuff on that too. And I've got a mate I should really ask.
    I like to know a bit more about free weights before I start, but I do believe it's the way to go.

    (of course I'll have to get over the embarrassment I always feel in the free weights area, but that's another topic altogether )
    ."We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
    (Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan)

  5. #5
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    Re: Chest/shoulder press - just training my tricep

    b****uilding.com has great forums on weight lifting. The people there only live for the gym, so they will give you good tips.

  6. #6
    Kein Ayin Hara JUB Admin KaraBulut's Avatar
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    Re: Chest/shoulder press - just training my tricep

    Quote Originally Posted by treanir View Post
    of course I'll have to get over the embarrassment I always feel in the free weights area, but that's another topic altogether )
    Don't be embarassed. Everyone starts somewhere and we all had that scary few days where we switched from the fixed weight machines to the free weight area. And it is a little intimidating because there are so many serious gymbunnies over in the free weight area.

    The free weight area is a bit like a dog yard. During peak hours when the "regulars" are there, there is a lot of curiosity about new people in the area. Sometimes I wonder if the guys are going to go over and sniff each other's butts.

    Three suggestions to make you feel more comfortable:
    1. Go at off-peak hours until you're more comfortable. During the off hours, the crowd is a little more relaxed.
    2. Nod and say "hello" to guys that you see there on a regular basis. This is the straight equivalent of butt-sniffing.
    3. Get a workout buddy. Having a workout partner will keep you focused on working out and get rid of some of your discomfort with venturing out into some new exercises.

  7. #7
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    Re: Chest/shoulder press - just training my tricep

    I finally worked up the courage to start lifting free weights. Not much, just the few exercises I knew already. I liked it! I could really feel my muscles work. And I must say that it looked far more butch than working with machines.

    One tiiiiiny little problem now: this morning, every muscle in my body HURTS like hell. And I'm moving today. That means lots of heavy lifting... *grins*
    ."We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
    (Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan)

  8. #8
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    Re: Chest/shoulder press - just training my tricep

    free weights are overrated. i've built myself just fine with ONLY doing machine. yes, machines are much easier, you can do higher weight, its easier to cheat, etc. and you know what? It still builds a lot of muscle.

    if you want to become some sort of b****uilder or very ripped then you should do free weights. but if you're just trying to put on some general muscle machines are fine

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