Alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Shoulders
Secondary Muscle(s) Triceps
Equipment Dumbbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Push

Alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Press Instructions

  • Set the bench angle at 90-degrees.
  • Be seated in a strong, athletic posture: chest up, core braced, and shoulders pinned back.
  • Lift the dumbbells to shoulder height one at a time. Use your thighs to “bump” the weight up if needed.
  • With palms facing forward, press one arm overhead while keeping the other stationary.
  • Your delts and triceps are handling the load while your core is braced.
  • Lower the dumbbell back to the starting level and alternate arms.


  • Keep your shoulders pinned back and chest up throughout the exercise.
  • Your triceps are parallel to the floor at the beginning of the movement. They should never be lower than this at any point during the exercise.
  • Keep your low back pinned to the bench. You do not want to be arching your lumbar excessively. 
  • Visualize bringing your armpit forward as you complete the movement.
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