Generally speaking, compound movements engage multiple body parts in free-flowing movements using free weights. In comparison, machines are considered a safe and efficient way of targeting specific muscle groups through isolation exercises.
The following article will explain the importance and difference between compound and isolation exercises.
Therefore, it is worth investing in shoulder workout machines to target these areas when looking to improve one’s shoulder muscles, specifically the delt muscles.
However, what machines should you invest in, and what exercises should you perform?
You should invest in the following three shoulder workout machines:
These machines allow you to perform various exercises that target the anterior deltoid, lateral deltoid, and posterior deltoid.
Along with discussing the different isolation exercises, we will also discuss why machines are essential in building shoulder muscles, how to identify the correct machine and a review of the best shoulder machines on the market.
If you are in a hurry to see the best shoulder machines, check out the table below.
- 1 What Machines Do You Need to Build Shoulder Muscles? 🏋️♀️
- 1.1 The Best Shoulder Press Machines
- 1.2 The Best Smith Machines
- 1.3 The Best Cable Crossover Machines 😍
- 2 What Are the Best Shoulder Workouts You Can Do With Machines? 🦾
- 2.1 The Best Shoulder Press Machine Exercises
- 2.2 The Best Smith Machine Shoulder Exercises
- 2.3 The Best Cable Cross Machine Shoulder Exercises
- 2.3.1 1. Cable Overhead Press
- 2.3.2 2. One-Arm Cable Front Raise
- 2.3.3 3. One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise
- 2.3.4 4. Cable Lateral Raise
- 2.3.5 5. Cable Face Pull
- 2.3.6 6. Cable Bent Over Reverse Fly
- 2.3.7 7. Cable Reverse Fly
- 2.3.8 8. Cable Upright Row
- 2.3.9 9. Cable Cuban Press
- 2.3.10 10. Cable Supine Reverse Fly
- 2.3.11 11. Rotator Cuff Rotation
- 3 Why You Should Use Machines to Build Your Shoulders? 🙆♂️
- 4 Conclusion 🤗
What Machines Do You Need to Build Shoulder Muscles? 🏋️♀️
Although there are various machines available that allow you to perform shoulder exercises, the following three types of shoulder machines will enable you to perform a range of isolation exercises to maximize your shoulder workouts:
The Best Shoulder Press Machines
The three best shoulder press machines on the market are:
1. Body-Solid Shoulder Press Machine
The Body-Solid shoulder press machine is ideal for commercial gyms due to its lifetime guarantee and 11 gauge steel frame.
2. Yukon Fitness Shoulder Machine
The Yukon Fitness Shoulder Machine is a compact shoulder press machine that allows free weight loading on a barbell, ideal for home use.
3. TDS Shoulder Press Machine
The TDS Shoulder Press Machine is a versatile and affordable shoulder press machine perfect for small gyms and home use.
Make sure to have a clear budget when buying a shoulder press machine.
This is most relevant when comparing machines designed for home use versus machines intended for commercial use.
Although a shoulder press machine is an excellent addition to any gym, there’s no denying that it is a little machine that only offers a single exercise (albeit an excellent exercise for overall shoulder strength and growth.)
If you are looking for machines and equipment, then a shoulder press machine may not be a worthwhile investment for you.
Size And Build
Shoulder machines come in various sizes with different weight mechanisms, such as manually loaded free weights or built-in weights that you can freely adjust.
The Best Smith Machines
The three best Smith machines on the market are:
1. XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine
The XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine is perfect for large commercial gyms.
2. ARCHON Wall Mount Cable Crossover Station
The ARCHON Wall Mount Cable Crossover Station is an easy to assemble and affordable cable crossover machine that uses separate free weights.
3. Body-Solid Powerline PFT100
The Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 is ideal for home use or small gyms.
Although most cable crossover machines are known for their versatility, not all machines are smooth and usable.
Therefore, the pulley system of the machine must operate smoothly and efficiently.
Cable crossover machines require different handles and weight settings to get the most out of them.
The Best Cable Crossover Machines 😍
The two best cable crossover machines on the market are:
1. Force USA G3 Trainer
The Force USA G3 Trainer is the perfect Smith machine for smaller spaces of home use.
2. Body-Solid SCB1000 Pro
The Body-Solid SCB1000 Pro is the perfect Smith machine for commercial gyms or serious athletes.
Because Smith machines vary significantly in size and make, weight capacity can fluctuate depending on which Smith machine you buy.
Ease Of Assembly
Smith machines can be very complex and challenging to build, especially if you intend to construct the machine at home.
Therefore, it is worth seeing if the company you are buying the machine from is willing to install it on your behalf.
What Are the Best Shoulder Workouts You Can Do With Machines? 🦾
Now that we know the three machines you need to perform isolation shoulder exercises, let’s look at the best shoulder exercises you can achieve with each machine:
The Best Shoulder Press Machine Exercises
The best shoulder press machine exercise is the seated overhead shoulder press.
Although the shoulder press machine may lack the versatility of other machines, its simplicity allows you to build your traps, anterior delts, and lateral delts without needing a spotter.
The Best Smith Machine Shoulder Exercises
The three best Smith machine exercises are:
1. Smith Machine Overhead Press
Similar to doing an overhead shoulder press with a shoulder press machine.
At the same time, the added back support and seated position isolates your traps, anterior delts, and lateral delts during the exercise.
2. Smith Machine Upright Row
Using a Smith machine over free weights improves muscle activation of your three delts and traps while reducing stress on your back.
See the best smith machines we recommend below.
3. Smith Machine Shrug
The Smith machine is a fantastic choice for doing shoulder shrugs, as it allows you to load multiple weights on the bar without fear of dropping the weights.
Therefore, you can max out your shoulder shrugs with the Smith machine in a way that other shrugs do not allow.
The Best Cable Cross Machine Shoulder Exercises
The eleven best cable cross machine exercises are:
1. Cable Overhead Press
The cable crossover machine lets you perform a shoulder press that targets all three of your delts in a single movement while increasing your time under tension with a set weight throughout the exercise.
2. One-Arm Cable Front Raise
Although front raises are often done with free weights such as dumbbells, using a cable cross machine allows you to perform this exercise in a controlled fashion.
Consequently, this improves your form and control by avoiding the “swing motion” commonly seen in front raises.
The exercise targets your anterior delt while simultaneously improving your lateral power.
3. One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise
Lateral raises, as the name implies, target the lateral delts.
Therefore, this is an essential exercise for holistic muscle growth, strengthening, and flexibility, as lateral delts are difficult to train and often overlooked.
4. Cable Lateral Raise
As one of the signature exercises that give the cable crossover machine its name, this exercise allows you to engage both shoulders simultaneously.
Although it may be difficult to have both sides of a cable crossover machine to yourself in a commercial gym, this is the perfect exercise to build shoulder symmetry while keeping your weights, reps, and sets even for both shoulders.
5. Cable Face Pull
As a unique combination between a compound and isolation exercise, face pulls are fantastic for building your rear delts while engaging your back muscles to provide holistic strength training for your shoulders and sculpting your upper body.
6. Cable Bent Over Reverse Fly
While this exercise is typically done with free weights such as dumbbells, using a cable crossover machine is a far better way of keeping your rear delts engaged throughout the workout and subject to controlled, more sweeping motions.
Furthermore, provided you engage your core and do not round your back during the exercise, cable crossover machines will put less strain on your back than free weights.
7. Cable Reverse Fly
Like the bent-over variety mentioned in exercise six above, the cable reverse fly is a fantastic method of building your rear delts while avoiding unnecessary strain on your back.
Consequently, this is the perfect exercise if you are recovering from a back injury or a series of back exercises such as deadlifts.
Here are our top three cable machines to use below.
8. Cable Upright Row
While this exercise is ideal for targeting lateral delts and surrounding muscle groups, only intermediate athletes should attempt this.
It can be an uncomfortable movement to perform, which may lead to injury if done incorrectly.
9. Cable Cuban Press
Pause for 1-2 seconds and engage your shoulder muscles before slowly returning the bar to the starting position to complete a rep.
The Cuban press is popular; it is a complex shoulder exercise that works all three delts simultaneously.
The Cuban press is an ideal exercise to end a shoulder workout or when you are short on time.
10. Cable Supine Reverse Fly
While this exercise may seem unorthodox and challenging, it’s simple to perform, as lying on your back provides ample support, allowing you to focus on engaging your posterior delt.
11. Rotator Cuff Rotation
Although this exercise will provide limited muscle growth and strength, it is vitally important in improving the flexibility of your shoulders, specifically your rotator cuffs.
Why You Should Use Machines to Build Your Shoulders? 🙆♂️
Although free weight shoulder exercises are vital in improving flexibility and overall toning, isolation shoulder exercises of the delts allow for targeted muscle growth and strength.
Furthermore, machines provide stability and form assistance to push your shoulder isolation exercises to the limit without worrying about suffering an injury.
Because it can be difficult to visualize how and why you need to target each delt muscle, the following links provide additional information on the anatomy of delts and the importance of individual delt training to avoid injury.
In conclusion, investing in the correct machines is essential for targeted isolation exercises of the delts.
We believe the above machine shoulder exercises with the proper form and variety will produce excellent results!
However, we also recommend other forms of cardiovascular and aerobic exercises to improve shoulder flexibility; therefore, we highly recommend you research shoulder exercises you can do while swimming and rowing.
Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API