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Shoulder Exercises - Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Exercise Name: Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Purpose: To develop and strengthen the shoulder muscles (deltoid muscles).

Target Muscle Group(s): The primary muscles being targeted are the front of the shoulders (anterior deltoid) and the sides of the shoulders (middle deltoid).

Secondary muscle groups being hit in this exercise are the rear of the shoulders (posterior deltoid); the triceps (medial head, lateral head, and long head); and trapezius.

dumbbell shoulder press

Instructions on Proper Dumbbell Shoulder Press Technique:

1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit on a bench.
2. Keep your feet flat on the ground, legs shoulder width apart.
3. Keep your abs tight and your back straight.
4. For the starting position, bring the dumbbells to your sides at shoulder level.
5. Raise the weight up and very lightly touch the weights at the top of the movement.
6. Lower the weight back to the starting position.

Instruction Comments:

1. Exhale as you press the dumbbells up, and inhale as you lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
2. The advantage of this exercise over the barbell shoulder press is that it has a greater range of motion.

Also Known As: Dumbbell Press, Military Dumbbell Press, Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Exercise Type: Strength Training, Weight Loss, Toning, Sports Training
Force: Push
Exercise Level: Beginner
Mechanics Type: Isolation Exercise

Dumbbell Shoulder Press Variations: Arnold Press (in Arnold Presses your simply lowering the dumbbells in front of you [instead of your sides] while turning your palms inward so that they're facing you); palms facing each other (facing the side of your head) instead of straight ahead; use a barbell instead of dumbbells (aka barbell shoulder press);

Safety Precautions:

1. Over time your shoulders will become much stronger than the tendons in your shoulder. This could give you a feeling as if your shoulder is going to "pop" when doing a set of heavy dumbbell shoulder presses. To prevent this, it is highly recommended that you incorporate rotator cuff exercises in your shoulder workouts.
2. This is a tricky exercise to get a spotter for. Serious injuries could result if the spotter doesn't know how to spot properly, so make sure that your spotter knows what he/she is doing. The proper way to spot for this exercise is to cup the elbows strong.

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