Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Press

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) ShouldersGlutesQuads
Secondary Muscle(s) Hamstrings, Traps
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 straight ahead.
  • The core is braced and engaged, glutes are activated.
  • With a dumbbell in each hand, 'clean' the DB's to shoulder level.
  • With palms facing each other and elbows direct ahead, maintain your core tightness and make sure your feet are positioned to squat.
  • Activate your posterior chain by pushing your glutes back then lower your body into the bottom position. 
  • As you descend, push your knees out laterally and maintain an upright chest position. 
  • In the bottom position, rise up driving your feet through the floor and keeping your core tight.
  • At the top position, use the momentum generated from your lower half to press the dumbbells overhead until the arms are extended.
  • Your delts and triceps are handling the load while your core is braced.
  • Your arms will finish in a neutral position overhead.
  • Lower the dumbbells back to the starting level..


  • On the press, visualize bringing your armpit forward as you complete the movement.
  • Keeping your core braced does not mean arching your back severely. To fully understand tightening your mid-section, click here
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