Dumbbell Shoulder Press For
Shapely Shoulders And Arms
Exercise Instructions And Video

The dumbbell shoulder press exercise mainly targets your shoulders as well as your arms. So, if you want gorgeous shoulders and tight arms, do this exercise regularly. :-)

Here’s a video demonstration of the shoulder press.


  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lift them up to your shoulders. Your palms should be facing forward. This is your starting position.
  3. From there, press the dumbbells directly over your head until the elbows are extended but not locked.
  4. Pause for a second.
  5. Come back slowly to the starting point. This is one repetition.
  6. Do 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions. Or do as many as your program tells you.

Important Things To Watch Out For

  • Keep your back in a neutral position. In other words, don’t arch or hunch your back.
  • Don’t bounce the weights up. Perform slowly and in control.
  • If you have lower back problems, you can perform the shoulder press sitting on a straight-backed chair.
  • Exhale when you press up and inhale when you come down.
  • Choose weights that are challenging but still manageable. Ideally you should choose weights that let you perform the required repetitions with the correct form. Your last repetitions should feel hard but you should still be able to perform them correctly.
  • Don’t continue pressing if your muscles get so tired that you can no longer perform the exercise with the correct form.
  • Don’t look up at the weights while you’re lifting. That will leave your spine vulnerable to injury.

Slight Variations

  • If you only have one dumbbell, perform the exercise one arm at a time.
  • As you get fitter, try doing the exercise standing only on one leg. That way, you work your legs at the same time. This also improves your balance and core stability which are important for all round fitness.
  • If you want to make it even harder, try standing on only one leg while lifting only one dumbbell on the opposite side to the standing leg (e.g. right leg, left arm).

Check out other exercises for shoulders too.

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