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How to Do Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Your hands wouldn't be very useful without shoulders. Give them the love and respect they deserve with a little bit of exercise.


  • : If you have any shoulder injuries, this lift is not recommended. Always consult a physician before attempting any exercise program.
  • Step 1: Sit on bench & hold dumbbells Sit on the edge of the bench with your feet about shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, palms facing each other, elbows underneath palms.
  • TIP: For a full-body exercise, perform the press standing with your feet shoulder width apart; you'll engage your torso stabilizers to hold you steady and upright. Use less weight than you would when seated.
  • Step 2: Lower dumbbells Slowly lower the dumbbells back down.
  • Step 3: Repeat Repeat until you can't maintain proper form—either your back starts to weaken or you can't raise the dumbbells all the way even with a spotter's aid.
  • TIP: To spot someone doing this lift, sit behind them with your palms under their upper arms. As they struggle, nudge their arms up with your palms.
  • Step 4: Lift dumbbells Keeping your back straight, smoothly lift the dumbbells straight up until your arms are straight but not locked out.
  • FACT: Basketball players build big shoulders by doing a shoulder press every time they shoot the ball—the more developed their shoulders, the farther out they can take a shot.

You Will Need

  • A padded weight bench
  • Dumbbells

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