Alternative to Bradford Presses?

Ive been trying to build up my shoulders while bulking, and have been focusing on shoulder presses. I find that they do stress my shoulders a bit, but mainly hit my triceps.

So I added machine laterals as an assistance exercise which seem to be good for my lateral head, but want one more good exercise in my arsenal.

Ive done bradford presses in the past and really liked them, but am thinking they may put too much stress on my shoulder joint with all teh other pressing im doing.

Does anyone know a good alternative to these? I was thinking of just doing partials on the front (basically bradford presses to the front).

Also, I was thinking of maybe using a rack and pressing against it at the top of each rep (sorta like a functional isometric)

I guess ill just have to give them a try.

What do you guys think? Any advice?

Bradford Presses are a pretty specific move so there is no real alternative.

If you want to do limited ROM then do limited ROM, you don’t need some fancy move just because you’re doing something different to the norm.

When training for size, the best tool I’ve used for bringing up lagging bodyparts is pre-exhaust. The intramuscular pressure that the isolation exercise gives before you go into the compound one really lends to the mind-muscle connection. It also helps with innervating the target muscle during the compound lift. Over time, when you can easier recruit the target muscle and drop pre-exhaust. That’s what I did.

Pretty much what Vir said. If you want to get all fancy then do the Bradford press. If not, stick to seated/standing barbell shoulder press, smith/machine shoulder press, or seated DB presses (at least for the Overhead variant of the shoulder exercise selection).

If you want to get fancy…

  1. Single Arm DB Clean & Press/Jerk/Bent Press. Clean DB to shoulder, then get the fucker above your head…of course the more “clean” the press the more you’ll hit the shoulder
    -Here you’re basically doing two shoulder movements: high pull/upright row and shoulder press/jerk
    -Just don’t lock out. You probably have crazy long spider arms and any pressing movement will hit your triceps more than us hobbits.
    -You’ll also get the benefit of hitting the traps as well.

  2. Gironda DB Swing. Google it. Basically a Lateral Raise on one arm and a 90 degree bent arm front raise on the other.
    -It’s silly as shit, but it burns the hell out of your shoulders.

  3. Shoulder Box. Google it. Elbows at sides, hands in front, hammer grip—bent arm lateral raise–push arms forward into finish position of front raise—bring arms back into finish position of lateral raise—drops arms to side
    -Even more silly, big burn, much lighter weight than your usual shoulder exercises…good as a finisher or as a warm-up

A 4th option would be to just cut your arms off in the middle of the forearm so your triceps don’t do so much damn work!

This. Lots of this. I find I start out strict and slowly add a slight dip/bent pressing motion to it. Feels like it hits the lateral head as well as the anterior pretty well.

Thanks bantam and rob, i’ll have to give some of those a try, they look pretty interesting.

As far as #1 above, do you do a clean on each rep, or just the first rep?

And then by the Press/jerk/bent press do you basically mean that your throwing your whole body into it and then trying to resist the negative a bit?

Heres what im gonna do for my pressing workout tommorow:

  1. Standing pin press - (from elbows at about 90 deg.) 5x3 or build up to a 3rm

  2. BB standing press (135) 3 x AMRAP

  3. Either halting presses or functional iso’s - Basically teh bottom part of the movment 4x8-12

Something like that maybe… I could throw in the DB press/jerk/bent press you guys mentioned in place of my pin press, we’ll see how I feel.

Also a side question about shoulders. I was thinking of an exercise the other day, where you’d hold a DB up at your shoulder level (either neutral or pronated). Then you’d do an uppercut. You could do this by only moving your shoulder (no tricep) or punching straight up.

Im wondering is this already an exercise, and is it any good for shoulders?

Thx again guys, very helpful.

I only clean the first rep, I’d only clean every rep if training for a competion where I had to.

Just press the fucker, like I said above I start out with a strict press and gradually shift more into a bent press. I don’t really use leg drive, but I don’t see why you couldn’t squeeze out a couple of extra reps at the end by push pressing/push jerking it. I won’t know how well it really works for a while as these are new to me, but they feel great and the element of just picking up something heavy and pushing it overhead clicks with me.