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Dumbbell Shoulder Press Exercise Guide (Step-by-Step)

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

The dumbbell shoulder press is a very common and effective overall shoulder exercise, in fact it may be the most common shoulder exercise.

It is a fairly simple exercise multi-joint exercise, meaning this may be a great replacement for the barbell shoulder press.

But the only equipment you need to complete this exercise is common and found in almost all gyms.

You can also use a barbell instead of dumbbells, you can even use cables as a cable variant of the shoulder press.

See more shoulder exercises by clicking here.

dumbbell shoulder press

(Dumbbell) Shoulder Press Exercise Instructions:

Target Muscle: Shoulders

Exercise Type: Strength

These instructions below are specifically designed for the dumbbell shoulder press exercise, however a similar method applies with the barbell or cable variation of this exercise. You can also do this exercise with a shoulder press machine, and even in a standing position.

  1. To begin, hold a dumbbell of your choice of weight in each hand and sit on a bench.

  2. Then place the dumbbells upright on your thighs.

  3. Raise the dumbbells up to your shoulders one at a time using your legs to help push them up into position, a spotter may be helpful if the dumbbells are heavier than usual.

  4. Rotate your wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing forward. This is your starting position.

  5. To start the rep, push the dumbbells upward until they touch at the top, again a spotter may be useful to help get them up if the weights are heavier than usual.

  6. After a 1-2 second pause at the top of the rep, slowly (over 1-3 seconds) lower the weights back down to the starting position.

  7. Repeat this for your desired amount of reps.

Additional Variations: You can do this same exercise using a barbell or even cables depending on what you prefer or what equipment you have available. You can also do this exercise on a shoulder press machine and also standing.

Caution: A heavier weight may be used, however do not strain yourself if you are unable to get them up in to position.

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