How to perform the single arm jammer shoulder exercise, also known as barbell levers or jammer press.
This shoulder exercise makes a great addition and some added variety into your shoulder workouts. I have personally found this exercise really effective for targeting those deltoids resulting in an almost instant burn and pump.
This page includes how to perform instructions, including a video and exercise tips.
Barbell Jammer Exercise Info
Primary Muscle Targeted – Shoulders/Deltoids
Secondary Muscles Targeted – Chest & Triceps
Exercise Type – Compound
Equipment Needed – Barbell, Landmine (optional)
Barbell Jammer Benefits
It mainly targets your front deltoids but also works the middle area, improving shoulder strength and mass.
It adds workout variety which is good for motivation and triggering muscle growth.
One end of the barbell needs to be placed in a stable and fixed position for example the corner of the room. There is also a certain piece of equipment that can be used to slot the barbell into which is called a Landmine, some gyms will have these. Place weight plates onto the other side of the bar (use an appropriate weight).
Pick up the bar up with both hands and hold it around your chest, place your feet in a wide stance and bend your knees slightly, this is your start position.
Now keep your core straight and then with one arm push the barbell out in front of you, keep your elbow slightly bent then lower the barbell down to your chest returning to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
This can be done with either a slow and controlled movement or an explosive movement, start off with a slow and controlled movement.
Start off using a light weight to master the technique.
How to do the Cuban Press shoulder exercise. This page includes step by step instructions, plus exercise tips. I talk about the benefits of performing this exercise and I recommend other shoulder strengthening exercises.
The Cuban Press shoulder exercise incorporates many different movements giving the benefits of various different shoulder and trap exercises.
The Cuban Shoulder press is basically two exercises in one. It includes movements similar to the upright row which targets those traps and then you rotate your arms to turn the movement into a standard shoulder press which targets those deltoids.
Benefits of the Cuban Press
Potential benefits are improved shoulder stability which can help to prevent injuries, this exercise can also strengthen the rotator cuff, this includes the smaller internal muscles of the shoulder.
Primary muscles targeted – Shoulders & Traps
Secondary muscles targeted – Triceps
Exercise type – Compound
Equipment needed – Barbell or Dumbbells
Cuban Press Technique – using barbell
Stand up straight with your feet about shoulder width apart holding the barbell, grip the barbell just wider than shoulder width holding the barbell just below your waist, this is the start position.
Now slowly and in a controlled fashion raise your arms until your upper arms are parallel with the floor, elbows bent at about 90 degrees.
Rotate your arms until you find yourself in a common shoulder press position and then press and straighten your arms.
Reverse the movement to return the barbell to the start position.
If you want to use dumbbells the technique is identical. The Technique for both is displayed in the video above.
Never jerk the movement, this is true of most exercises but it’s especially true for the Cuban press due to the rotation of the shoulder joint.
This can be perform just as well with a pair of dumbbells, however using dumbbells will require a little more control during the movement. It’s best to use a barbell to begin with until you master the technique.
Don’t perform this exercise if you have any shoulder injuries or imbalances.
When first trying this exercise just use a barbell without any added weight.
How to do upright rows correctly and safely, using a barbell and dumbbells. The upright row is a compound exercise with the main focus of the exercise targeting your shoulders, it also works the traps and biceps.
The upright row is an effective exercise for targeting the shoulders and traps, the width of your grip determines the focus point of the exercise.
There is a misconception that you should raise the barbell all the way up to your chin, this is actually the incorrect technique. Raising the barbell to your chin puts unnecessary pressure on your shoulders and wrists, therefore increasing the chance of injury to those areas.
Brachialis – this muscle located on the outside of your upper arm
Variations of the Upright Row
Wide Grip – This focuses more on your Shoulders
Narrow Grip – This Grip will focus more on the Trapezius
Your biceps will also be targeted.
Equipment used to perform the exercise
Cable Machine with bar extension
Caution if you feel any unnatural pain in your shoulders or wrists you should stop performing the exercise immediately, and check and readjust your technique.
Exercise Tip using a curl bar allows for a more natural hand position which reduces the stress on your wrists.
How to perform Upright Rows (Barbell or Curlbar)
Stand up straight while holding the barbell or curlbar, your hands should be just inside of shoulder width apart.
Slowly raise the barbell keeping it near to your body, raise the barbell until the barbell is inline with your chest and your upper arms are parallel with the floor.
Hold for a brief moment, then slowly lower the barbell back down to the start position and then repeat.
You can also perform this exercise using dumbbells
Standing up straight, keep the dumbbells together in a stable position and your arms straight.
Slowly raise your arms up, try and keep the dumbbells level with each other, raise them up until the dumbbells are inline with your chest. The dumbbells should be kept in an almost horizontal position during the complete range of motion.
How to do lateral, front and rear shoulder raises? . They can be performed with dumbbells, kettlebells, cables and using a specifically built pin machine.
The different variations of the side shoulder raise exercise can be used to target the front, middle and rear deltoid for full deltoid development.
Benefits of the shoulder raise
Full development of the three main sections of the shoulders will lead to larger, broader and stronger shoulders. It also adds more stability in the shoulder and the rotator cuff which will also reduce the risk of injury.
Areas of the deltoid
Variations of shoulder raises
Side raises – lateral or middle
Front raises – Anterior
Alternating front raises – Anterior
Bent over rear raises – Posterior
Side shoulder raises – Works the lateral (middle) area of the deltoid
How to do the side lateral raise
Stand up straight, feet about shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in each hand, arms resting at the side of you.
Slowly raise your arms out to your side so they are just above parallel with the floor, keep your elbows slightly bent as you raise your arms. keep the rest of your body as straight as possible and your shoulders pinned slightly back.
Hold for a short moment in the parallel position and then slowly lower your arms back down and repeat.
Alternating front dumbbell raises – Works the Anterior area of the deltoid
Stand up straight holding a dumbbell in each hand, feet about shoulder width apart.
Slowly raise one arm up in front of you, so your arm is just above parallel with the floor, it should be pointing straight ahead. Keep your body still, only your arms should be moving during the exercise.
Hold for a short moment and then slowly lower, and then repeat with your other arm.
Rear shoulder raises also known as the Rear deltoid fly – Works the Posterior (rear) area of the deltoid.
This version can be perform while standing or seated.
While holding the dumbbells, have your feet about shoulder width, bend your knees, keep your back straight and just about parallel to the floor, maybe angled up slightly.
With the dumbbells, palms facing each other, elbows slightly bent, slowly raise your arms out to the side until they’re about horizontal, your elbows should be higher than the dumbbells.
Hold in the horizontal position for a brief moment and then slowly lower them back down to the start position and repeat.
kettlebells can also be used instead of dumbbells to perform these exercises.
How to do the shoulder press exercise. It’s a compound exercise and one of the best exercises for building and strengthening your shoulders.
Benefits you will get from this exercise
Performing this exercise properly will deliver great results. It will broaden and strengthen your shoulders, significantly improving your upper body strength. Plus you will look better and perform better at athletic activities and sports and also helping to prevent injuries in your shoulders, including the rotator cuff.
Different ways to perform the shoulder press
The shoulder press can be performed with either a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. You can perform it seated or standing.
Arnold press – this variation was used and created by Arnold Schwarzenegger, it requires a rotation of the dumbbells in the starting to finishing position.
Barbell – The barbell shoulder press also known as the military press.
Dumbbells – This allows for more control and movement than the barbell press, so for me it’s the best version.
Smith machine – This is a fixed barbell, it’s a good idea to try performing the shoulder press using a smith machine before using free weights. Using free weights requires more control and balance.
Seated pin cable press machine – These machines are ideal if you’re just starting out or adding variety to your workouts. They’re also good as a cooling down exercise.
The seated dumbbell version is my preferred version because being seated helps to keep your upper body in good form and in a fixed position. Using dumbbells also allows for a greater range of motion.
Risks of injury
The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of all your joints, for this reason it’s a high risk injury area.
How to prevent injury
Use the correct technique.
Don’t lift too heavy or beyond your ability.
Use slow and controlled movements.
Warm up your muscles properly before you get serious.
Seated dumbbell Press
This can be done with your palms facing forwards or your palms facing inwards towards each other, this slightly changes the focus of the exercise. This is for more advanced lifters so don’t worry about it.
How to do the dumbbell shoulder press
Sit on the bench, sit up straight with your back straight resting on the back rest .
Pick up the dumbbells so one is in each hand, or get somebody to pass them to you.
Raise the dumbbells to about shoulder height with your elbows out to the side and your palms facing forward.
Now lift up your arms keeping them as level as possible, don’t fully lock your elbows, keep them slightly bent and hold for a short moment.
Then slowly lower your arms back down so your upper arms are just below parallel with the floor and the dumbbells are in line with your head and then repeat.