Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Press

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) ShouldersGlutesQuads
Secondary Muscle(s) HamstringsTricepsAbdominals
Equipment Dumbbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Push, Squat

Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Press Instructions

  • Feet positioned in your squat stance.
    • Your knees are slightly bent and toes pointed slightly out.
  • The core is braced and engaged, glutes are activated.
    • Chest is up with your shoulders back.
    • You have a neutral spine.
  • With a dumbbell in each hand, 'clean' the DB's to shoulder level.
  • With palms facing each other and elbows directly ahead, maintain your core tightness and make sure your feet are positioned to squat.
  • Activate your posterior chain by pushing your glutes back slightly then lower yourself into the bottom position (squat). 
    • As you descend, push your knees out laterally and maintain an upright chest position. 
  • In the bottom position, rise up by driving your feet through the floor.
    • Bring your chest up
  • AUse the momentum generated from your lower half to press the dumbbells overhead until the arms are fully extended.
  • Your delts and triceps are handling the load while your core is braced.
    • Imagine bringing your armpits forward as you press.
    • Allow your arms to rotate naturally as you press.
    • Keep your knees slightly bent at the top position.
  • Lower the dumbbells back to the starting level..


  • Keeping your core braced does not mean arching your back severely. To fully understand tightening your mid-section, click here
  • This exercise can be performed with a kettlebell. 
Previous article Chin-up