Bus Drivers

Bus Drivers – Shoulders (How To & Alternatives)

Bus Drivers are a supplementary shoulder exercise that is a variation of the more well-known Plate Raise. Bus Drivers generate an incredible amount of time under tension and work perfectly toward the end of a workout to torch your shoulders.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Bus Drivers, what muscles it works and a few alternatives in case you need them.

How To Do Bus Drivers

Equipment Needed

  • Weight Plate

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Hold a weight plate in front of thighs, hands at 3 and 9.
  • Arms should be straight, elbows very slightly bent.
  • Knees should be slightly bent, core tight.
  • Raise the plate straight up in front of the body, keeping arms straight, until it reaches about eye level.
  • Now turn the plate 45 degrees so that your right hand is on top and your left hand is on the bottom.
  • Now rotate the plate 90 degrees in the opposite direction so that now your left hand is on top and your right hand is on the bottom.
  • Continue rotating back and forth until all reps are completed.
  • Once all reps are completed lower the plate back to the starting position.

Coaching Points

Elbows should not be completely locked out as this puts an unnecessary strain on the elbow joint. Instead, keep a slight bend in the elbow throughout the movement.

Keep the core engaged and refrain from arching the low back. You’ll use a much lighter plate for Bus Drivers than you would for Plate Raises.

Muscles Worked

Bus Drivers specifically target the Anterior Deltoids and to a lesser extent the Middle Deltoids and Upper Pecs.

Bus Driver Alternatives

Don’t have the equipment needed or looking to change your workout up just a bit? Here are a few Bus Driver alternatives:

DB Front Raise

The most common variation for Bus Drivers is to simply change the form of resistance, aka switch to dumbbells for DB Front Raises.

By using dumbbells instead of a plate you can keep the same movement pattern, just with a different implement. If you have a full set of dumbbells you can usually get much more specific with the amount of weight to use compared to a plate.

Barbell Front Raise

Barbell Front Raises are another Plate Raise variation that simply involves changing the piece of equipment used.

Again, use the same movement pattern (minus the rotation), but instead of a weight plate, use a barbell. If a regular bar is too heavy, you can also use a curl bar if you have one.

More Links and Info

Looking for more Upper Body Lifts? Follow that link to see more great upper body exercises in the Horton Barbell Exercise Library.


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