Dumbbell Shoulder Press

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

Dumbbell Shoulder Press Instructions

  • Set the bench angle at 90-degrees.
  • Be seated in a strong, athletic posture:
    • Chest up and shoulders back
    • Core braced
    • Neutral spine
    • Feet rooted in the ground
  • Lift the dumbbells to shoulder height. Use your thighs to “bump” the weight up if needed.
  • Your triceps are parallel to the floor at the start of the movement. Your forearms and wrists remain vertical throughout the movement.
    • They should never be lower than this at any point during the exercise.
    • Your wrists never "roll" back.
  • With palms facing forward, press the dumbbells overhead until the arms are extended.
    • Imagine bringing your armpits forward as you press.
    • Don't let the weight stray from your mid-line.
    • Your delts and triceps are handling the load while your core is braced.
  • Your arms will finish fully extended overhead.
  • Lower the dumbbells back to the starting level.


  • Don't lose your strong posture as you fatigue.
  • Your low back should not be arched.
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