Fitness Tips

Shoulder Press Machines – Our Top Picks

Searching around for the best shoulder press machine on the market? Are you trying to get some explosive boulder shoulders?

You’re in luck then cause you made it to the right place.

Quick Summary

Best bang for your buck option:  Body Solid Leverage Machine

you can check it out on amazon by clicking here

Best Budget Cheaper option:  TDS Delt & Shoulder Press Machine

You can check it out on amazon by clicking here

In the Article below I am going to list the best Shoulder Press Machines available along with my personal review of each so that you can make an informed purchase and get the most bang for your buck.

These machines are a great and convenient way to develop your shoulder muscles safely and conveniently.

Not to mention this approach is a lot easier on your wallet!

Our Top Pick

Body Solid Leverage Shoulder Press

#1 Rated - Editors Choice

  • Best Overall Option - Editors Choice
  • Most cost Effective Option - Bang for Buck
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Built to last - Excellent for commercial use or for long term home use
  • I have personally owned this one for 2 years now
Body solid our best rated shoulder press machine

Why Buy a Shoulder Press Machine

Just in case you have some doubts, let me give you a few reasons why a shoulder press machine is an excellent investment... or at least why it was for me.

Shoulder Development and Growth

The first and most obvious reason why anyone should buy a shoulder press machine is to well… Train their shoulders.

Shoulders are not only one of the most aesthetically pleasing muscles. Giving you a broad and powerful look, they also come with a host of health benefits.

The shoulder joint is one of the least stable joints in your body.

That is why training the muscles surrounding the joint to make them denser and stronger is a must. It lowers your risk of injuries such as tears, dislocations, and more.

Convenience and Price

There’s two ways you can do a shoulder press, a machine or free weights.

on the one hand, if you want to use free weights, then you have to buy the following:

  • Power Rack to hold the weighted bar
  • Olympic bar
  • Enough weight plates to allow progression
  • Weight Clips
  • Mats for your floor in case you slam or drop weights.

Now, imagine picking out the right equipment for each of those items among the thousands of options available.

Just buying this will leave you with a price in the thousands, especially since you have to buy it separately. But that’s not all! You also have to ship everything.

Shipping thousands of pounds will rack up your expenses to astronomical levels.

On the other hand, if you use a shoulder press machine you only have to buy:

  • A Shoulder Press Machine - maybe some weight plates depending on which model you get

Not only is it more convenient just picking out one piece of equipment. But It is also way cheaper to buy and to ship than multiple separate pieces.

Lower Risk of Injury

One of the reasons shoulder press machines are so popular in gyms all over the world is that the path the equipment travels is fixed.

The manufacturer carefully designs the equipment so that it gives the exact range of motion needed to work the target muscle and no more.

What this means in practice is that the chance of you suffering any sort of injury due to improper form is practically zero. Even if you tried, you literally can't move the pieces in a way that would hurt you.

The same cannot be said about free weights. As the name implies, they are “free”, if you mess up the bar path, you can cause some serious damage.

I can attest to this, as once I split my lip open because I pushed the bar up when it was too close to my face.

It doesn’t stop at minor injuries however, as you can suffer from joint issues, dislocations and even tendinitis of the elbow or wrist if you don’t use proper form with free weights.

Not to mention lower back injuries that may result from standing overhead pressing without proper bracing or lifting belts .

This is all solved with a Shoulder Press Machine.

Now lets me show you your best options.

Best Shoulder Press Machines

Alright, let’s get down to business, these are the best shoulder Press Machines you can buy right now.


1. Body Solid Leverage Shoulder Press - Best Shoulder Press Machine

Best Features

  • Best machine Available - Editors Choice
  • Lifetime Warranty for Personal Use
  • Use of weight plates allows better progression and less upfront cost.
  • Independently moving arms
  •  Dimensions: 49" (126 cm) Length x 53" (134 cm) Width x 52" (133 cm) Height
  • Adjustable Arms

Body Solid Shoulder Press Machine Review

This is the one I bought for myself after countless hours of research and trying different models. It is without a doubt the best shoulder press machine you are going to find and the one I recommend the most.

Bang for buck right here.

With a minimalistic frame made out of eleven gauge steel. BodySolid really outshines the competition on this one.

They manage to fit all you could ever need out of a shoulder press without making a bulky, ugly mess.

 In fact, they make a beautiful product thanks to the double stitched upholstery and metallic silver powder coat finish that will also help prevent scratching and blemishing.

Furthermore, you’re not only getting a pretty toy with the Leverage Shoulder Press (LSVP for short). It is the most faithful imitation of an overhead press, without any of the drawbacks that free weights imply.

Thanks to the slightly angled movement of the arms, you get a convergent motion that allows for advanced biomechanics and greater activation of the muscle.

Not only that, but the arms move independently of each other so that you can avoid, or fix, any muscle imbalance.

A problem with free weights and bars is that your dominant arm is tends to be stronger and take over a bit. With the LVSP you can make sure that you’re lifting the same amount of weight with each arm.

In addition, the LSVP comes with six weight plate holders for storage to avoid having a mess of plates laying around your gym, garage or wherever you choose to put the machine.

Some may say that it's a drawback that this machine uses weight plates instead of bricks that come with the machine.

I say they’re wrong.

You’re going to own this machine for years, so if you get one with a set amount bricks included, once you grow strong enough to lift the maximum weight. The machine is useless for you. You need buy a machine that will allow for progression.

Maybe you can contact the manufacturer and see if they can install more but I wouldn't be very hopeful.

Instead, with weight plates you can add as many as you want, buying them from whoever you want although the best place to buy weights is going to be amazon. It will also be cheaper since you can buy them over time instead of all at once.

Not only that, but you can also use them with other equipment you own.

Finally, this is a great product for athletes of all sizes, since it comes with adjustable arms and an adjustable seat as well.


2. TDS Deltoid & Shoulder Machine - Cheapest Shoulder Press Machine

Best Features

  • Cheapest Entry!
  • Built for home gyms and people working out in small space
  • 2-in-1 - Shoulder & Delt Machine
  • Independant Arm movement
  • Can also do Lateral Raises
  • Uses weight plates
  • Weight plate holder
  • Dimensions: 34" by 42.5" by 48" Height - 145 lbs.

TDS Shoulder Press Machine Review

Alright now you know which is the best Shoulder Press Machine you can get, but what if you’re on a limited budget?

With this option you’re getting a bargain in more ways than one.

As you might have noticed from the name, this is not simply a shoulder press machine. It also offers options for other ways to train your deltoids, the muscles that surround your shoulder joint.

Now you can also do lateral raises which is useful to prevent muscle imbalances and target the side deltoid more efficiently, which will give you a wider look.

Basically you’re getting two machines for the price of one! A remarkably low price at that!

This is why this ranks in at #2 because of how much you get for your buck. It's not the best, but it most definitely gets the job done.

All four arms on this machine move independently from each other, so like the one above, it will help you prevent imbalances caused by your dominant arm taking over.

When it comes to who can use this machine, TDS had the foresight to include four different handles on the shoulder press arms.

This in turn allows for people of different sizes to use the machine comfortably, as well as allowing for different ranges of motion if you switch from one arm to the other!

Like the one above, it also functions with weight plates, which allows you to spread out your spending and buy more plates as you progress instead of all at once.

TDS is a known company for building fitness equipment at affordable price points. Their sissy squat machines, lat pulldown machines consistently rank among the top contenders.


3. Precor Vitality Series - Best Commercial Shoulder Press Machine

Best Features

  • Best machine for commercial use
  • Great Durability
  • Adjustable seat and Oversized grip
  • Big 200 pound weight stack
  • Reliable company with great warranty options
  • Dimensions: 58’’ Length  by 57’’ Width by 61’’ Height.

Precor Vitality Series Shoulder Press Review

You might find this next entry to look familiar, if you don't immediately recognize it.

That’s because this is one of the most commonly used shoulder press machines for commercial gyms.

That alone should speak volumes about the kind of machine we’re dealing with, but just in case you’re not convinced, let me break down for you why thousands of gym owners across the country choose Precor.

To begin with, we should acknowledge that the needs of a home gym are very different from those of a commercial one.

You might be thinking, “Hey I thought weight stacks were bad!” While that might be the case for home gyms, it's not true for commercial ones.

Big gyms have their own free weights section, so if a gym goer has progressed beyond the capabilities of the weight stack, they can simply go there and keep up their progress. The same can’t be said about your garage home gym setup. Not to mention that commercial machines come with a lot more weight on the stack than normal home gym machines.

Not only that, but if you place too many machines that use weight plates, then you’ll have a constant mess of plates discarded all around the gym. So weight stacks help keep things tidy.

Even then, with weight stacks that go up to 200 pounds or 91 kilos, most people in a gym will find a challenge and a good workout with Precor’s machine.

Another issue that plagues commercial gyms is that the equipment sees a lot more use than a home gym. Hundreds of people work out every day!

Related Reading: Best Commercial Elliptical Machines for Home Use

That’s why it's so useful that the moving parts of this shoulder press and weight stacks are precisely machined so that they dont grind against each other and wear the equipment out.

Thanks to the electrostatically applied finish and the heat cured powder coated eleven gauge steel, you can bet this piece of equipment will last for years without even showing scratches or blemishes!

Finally, it comes in a variety of colors for the upholstery and has adjustable height and oversized grips so that anyone can use it.


4. Champion Selectorized Incline/Shoulder Press Machine

Best Features

  • Sliding Seat
  • Can also train chest
  • Shrouded Weight Stack
  • 200 pound stack
  • Dimensions: 52.5’’ W by 55" H by 71.5" D

Champion Shoulder Press Machine Review

On the fifth spot on out list we have another two for one bargain, this machine is an excellent option for seniors as well commercial use.

It's a 2 in 1 allowing you to also work chest.

Yes! You read that right!

Thanks to its sliding seat you can also use this as an incline bench machine!

The seat can be adjusted to four different angles, from all the way upright for a strict shoulder press, to almost parallel with the ground for an incline press and everything in between.

Changing the angle like this is a great way to keep your body from growing accustomed to the exercise and losing effectiveness.

Remember, it's supposed to be hard!  If you’re not grunting and panting, you're not growing!

In case you’re not aware, your shoulders are heavily involved in any pressing movement, especially the incline bench.

In practice this means that even when you’re targeting your upper chest, your shoulders are still getting a decent amount of activation and strain.

What I like to do with machines like these, is to do a heavy set of incline press, and then blast my shoulder muscles with a light, quick set of shoulder pressing to really feel that burn.

In this case it’s especially easy, since thanks to the sliding seat and weight stack, changing angles and weight is a breeze. No dragging plates and getting distracted doing plate math.

Just grab the pin and choose your weight! You won't even have to stand up!

One feature of this machine that might go unnoticed but is actually really useful is the fully shrouded weight stack. Especially for one as heavy as this one.

While it might seem just like an aesthetic choice, shrouded weight stacks do more than just looking pretty.

First and foremost, shrouded stacks are a lot safer.

While it might seem obvious that you should not put your fingers anywhere near a stack that goes up to 200 pounds, you might be surprised how many accidents I’ve seen.

Sometimes the little ones could be playing with their dad’s equipment, sometimes it's someone getting distracted while working out on their local gym. The important part is that with a shroud, no fingers are gonna get 200 pounds dropped on them.

Furthermore, shrouds help preserve your equipment. It's a no brainer really, the shroud helps keep dust and other objects that might scratch or rust the equipment at bay, making it last longer.


5. Life Fitness’ Signature Series Shoulder Press

Best Features

First off, this bad boy is actually top of the line but this machine is built for commercial purposes and is higher priced which is why i scored it at #5. If you own a public gym or have the buck then this is a great option

  • Arms equipped with counterweights
  • 190 pound stack
  • Full Shroud
  • Oversized and Pronated Handles
  • Angled Range of Motion
  • Multiple Color Choices
  • Dimensions: 60" L x 52" W x 64" H

Life Fitness Shoulder Press Machine Review

Last but not least, we have a great product from Life Fitness, one of the most well known and respected brands in gym equipment and fitness.

An all around great piece of equipment, it comes with a fully shrouded 190 pound weight stack, to make sure that you both have a lot to work through and that you won't have any nasty accidents while doing it!

Furthermore, each arm is equipped with a counterweight. This reduces the strength needed to start the movement.

I know what you’re thinking, “You just said it's supposed to be hard! Now you want it easier?” Well no.

There’s some physics stuff that I’m too dumb to understand, let alone explain, but to put it simply it means that it's actually harder to get the movement started that its supposed to be.

This way the strength needed stays consistent throughout the whole lift.

Not only that, but this machine also features not just oversized, but also pronated handles, which allow you to switch up your hand position to a more neutral grip or to another grip you prefer as well as change up your range of motion to ensure your shoulder muscles can never get used to it.

The arms are slightly angled, like our first entry, so that you get a more natural range of motion. More similar to the path your shoulders take when you’re using free weights, but without all the risks!

When it comes to durability, this machine is one of a kind, with nylon coated cable that meets US military specifications and fiberglass impregnated pulleys.

In addition, people of all shapes and sizes can use it, as it comes with gas assisted springs for seat adjustment. Making it a breeze to switch up with your training partner.


You can get this one in three different colors for the vinyl, and three different ones for the steel frame, so you know for sure it will match what you already have in your gym.

Top Shoulder Press Machine Brands

Listed below are the top rated highest quality brands of shoulder press machines

BodySolid

Body solid - top rated shoulder press machine brand

Founded in 1989 with the mission of selling value priced, high quality fitness equipment, they have come a long way.

Their name is synonymous with quality, and it shows. They are the first fitness brand to introduce a lifetime warranty in 1996 and still offer it today.

The company stands by their “built for life” motto and are even ranked as an A+ by the better business bureau.

Precor

Precor - a popular shoulder press machine brand

Precor is one of the most well known and respected brands in the commercial fitness equipment space.

Their mission statement is to improve the way people improve themselves. To that effort is that they are relentless in their pursuit of innovation.

This has led to some of the most well designed and engineered strength training equipment. Focusing on ergonomics and minimizing risks while getting the most out of each exercise.

Not only that, but they have taken up the challenge of delivering the same quality they have for nearly three decades, while staying committed to environmental protection and social responsibility.

They have done a great job and have been recognized multiple times by governments and nonprofits alike

Lifefitness

Lifefitness - top rated commercial shoulder press machine brand


Life Fitness claims they have a commitment to helping people lead healthier lives.

Their way of going about this is not only to create and test high quality gear. They also encourage their employees to try the equipment they’re creating, offering them fully functional gyms and daily classes.


Benefits Of Shoulder Press Machines

In this section we will discuss the benefits of shoulder press machines, and why it's a good idea to have one.  

Little to no learning curve

Above I talked about how Shoulder Press Machines reduce risk of injury compared to free weights since the range of motion is fixed by the manufacturer.

Another benefit of that is that there is no learning period before you can perform the movement correctly. No worrying about correct form. 

For newer trainees, it can be very frustrating to have to use weight that doesn't offer a challenge, just to learn the ropes before you can put up some big boy weight.

It might even drive some to quit before they even get started, since it's pretty damn boring (and a little bit embarrassing) to lift no weight for an hour in the gym, never even breaking a sweat just to try learn and master the correct form.

A shoulder press machine fixes that, since the manufacturer already did all the learning for you!

You just sit down and within minutes you have a solid grasp of how to perform the exercise and can start on the long road to GAINS.

 Micro Loading or Easier Progression

Unless you go to some very high level gym, you probably don't even know micro plates exist. They are tiny weight plates, some as small as only ¼ of a pound

It comes a time in every lifter’s career when they cant progress as easy as they could before, they hit a plateau.

Breaking these plateau can be pretty tough, especially since in most commercial gyms the minimum increase you can do is 10 pounds, 5 on each side.

This is where shoulder press machines, most of them have the option to add weight in 2.5 pounds increments, meaning you can slowly but surely keep adding weight and with that, keep building muscle!

 Comfort and Convenience

I already talked about how much more convenient it is to buy just one machine compared to setting up a power rack and buying free weights.

However, it goes further than that! Shoulder press machines are straight up more comfortable to use.

No fussing with bar position, bench position, feet position, safety pins and more. You just sit down and get to work.

As lazy as that sounds, I think there is value in making it just a little bit easier to get you to lift.

When I say it should be hard, I mean the exercise itself,  if what it takes for you to give it your all is to have no set up, then a shoulder press machine is a godsend.

Recommended Readings:

Sources:

Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now. My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics. My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics. Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page