What is: Shoulder Press

Shoulder Press

The dumbbell shoulder press is a shoulder exercise that can also be performed with a barbell. Most of the stress is placed on the anterior deltoid muscle. The tricep muscles on the back of your arms are secondary muscles that are involved in any pressing motion. Muscles in the back like the trapezius, teres major and minor, rhomboids, and lats all help stabilize your arms and core as you press the weight over your head. Use of heavier weights will force more secondary muscles to get involved in order to move the weight.

This exercise can be performed standing up as well as seated. The reason for me demonstrating the seated version is because it makes the technique slightly less involved.

If you do the shoulder press when you are standing, you must make sure that you don’t use your legs to try and throw the weight up using momentum. If you don’t stand correctly you can also put a lot of pressure on your lower back. When doing the standing version, make sure your abs and glutes are squeezed tight to stabilize your body and keep the pressure off of your lower back.

To perform the shoulder press, start with the weight in your hands at about the same height as your ears. Move the weight directly over your head. Keep your abs tight and posture completely upright. Make sure the weights don’t float to the sides or out in front of your body. That will decrease control of the weight. Always have a spotter behind you. Their job is to make sure you are keeping the weights in a straight line above your head. The exercise finishes with your arms straight and your biceps by your ears. Lower the weight down slowly and under control.

Adam Pegg About Adam Pegg

Adam is an athlete with a serious passion for fitness and health. He played basketball at University of Delaware and Stetson. His degree is in health science and he's a certified personal trainer who loves helping people reach their goals.