Dumbbell Shoulder Press - Build Bigger Shoulder Muscles

Why is Dumbbell Shoulder Press So effective?

Dumbbell Shoulder Press is an Excellent Exercise to build front and side deltoid muscles.

It is a variation of  Barbell Shoulder Press or military exercise  but is more effective in deltoid muscle stimulation.

Why dumbbells are better than barbells in shoulder press?

Dumbbells allow a full range of motion and therefore dumbbell press is a very significant exercise to build front and side deltoid muscles.

Purpose -- To Build Muscle Mass in front and side of deltoids.

Dumbbell Press is an excellent exercise. Whenever you want to add more sets to Shoulder exercises, do it with this exercise.

Muscles Used in Dumbbell Press exercise - Front and side deltoids are prime mover muscles with help from triceps and back muscles.

Execution Technique - How to do Dumbbells Shoulder Press Properly

This exercise is performed standing or seated on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand.

I will share with you both these versions.

Steps with correct form

1. Grab hold of two dumbbells and hold them at shoulder level in front of your body.

Its best if your elbows are in front of you body and not behind the back.

In the seated version you should sit at the end of a flat bench holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing forward.


2. Lift the dumbbells overhead until  they nearly touch at the top and then lower them as low as possible.

In build muscle mass its best if you do not allow the elbows to be locked out as it reduces muscular tension. Strength trainer can lock out at the top.

3. Fell a good stretch at the bottom and then continue with the next rep.

Points to remember

  • Go as heavy as possible.
  • Keep it under controlled movement.
  • Brace your abdominals for more power.
  • Keep back arched naturally, avoid bending you back and exhale near the top when you press up.

Safety and Efficiency Tips

If you have good shoulder flexibility then you can lower the dumbbells in line with shoulders.

But if you have pain when performing shoulder press, then lower the dumbbells in front of the shoulders. This will definitely help you perform presses instead of avoiding them altogether due to pain.

Variations of Dumbbell Shoulder Press

One Handed dumbbell press

Do the dumbbell press with one hand only using one dumbbell at a time. This forces your core muscles to be more active and makes the exercise challenging.

Neutral Grip dumbbell press - Palms-in dumbbell press

In this variation, you grab the dumbbells with the palms facing each other. It is easier as biceps too contribute the move.

Alternating Dumbbell Press

Instead of pressing one dumbbell, resting it and pressing the other one, you can lower one dumbbell while pressing the other in an alternating fashion.

Stability ball dumbbell press - Of course you can sit on a stability ball instead of standing or sitting on a regular bench for added core training.

Do you feel pain when performing dumbbell press?

Although you should consult a physician, try this variation.

Get your elbows more in front of your body. This required less shoulder flexibility and makes this exercise easier.


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