How To – Barbell And Dumbbell Shoulder Press

shoulder press dumbells

The shoulder press is an upper body compound exercise that primarily targets the deltoids and postural muscles. It can be done with various different types of equipment, most commonly dumbbells or a weight bar. The shoulder press can be done either standing or seated, with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back against a sturdy chair.

The shoulder press is an excellent strength building exercise that requires no equipment other than dumbbells or barbells. This article will demonstrate shoulder pressing with both types of weight devices.

Equipment Needed:

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– Stand with feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells in both hands.

– Bring dumbbells to shoulder height.

– Your palms should be facing each other throughout the exercise, unless otherwise stated in a specific exercise guide.


– Place the bar on the back of your shoulders.

– Keep your arms shoulder width apart and your feet shoulder width apart.

– Tighten your core and glutes to maintain a straight back to avoid injury.

– Keep the bar as close to the base of your neck as possible throughout the movement.


Barbell Shoulder Press (standing shoulder press)

– Grip bar shoulder width apart and palms facing forward.

– Brace shoulder blades together tightly .

– Raise up so elbows are shoulder height .

– Bring the bar down to the upper chest by rotating the shoulder, not moving the upper arm.

– Push the bar back upwards until elbows reach shoulder height .


Dumbbell Shoulder Press (seated shoulder press)

– Use a shoulder width grip with palms facing each other.

– Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your feet shoulder width apart, back straight and abs tight .

– Lift dumbbells to shoulder height, making sure shoulder blades are pinched tight .

– Press dumbbells up and together until your arms are shoulder height.

– Lower back to starting position by slowly rotating shoulder downward. Repeat .


Difficulty Level: 2/5 – Moderate, good for beginners.

Cadence: 1 second up, 2 seconds down or controlled lowering of the weight.

Muscle Group: Deltoids, shoulder blades (posterior) and triceps. Other muscle groups used are core stability muscles (e.g gluteus maximus).


– The shoulder press is an excellent strength building exercise that requires no equipment other than dumbbells or barbells .

– Good shoulder health is essential for shoulder strength and shoulder movement.

– Strong shoulder blades lead to strong shoulder muscles, consequently leading to better shoulder health .

– It can help with arthritis, especially in the shoulder .

– With its anti-inflammatory benefits , it helps reduce swelling of the joints after exercise .


– This shoulder press can be done without shoulder injury, but if you feel shoulder discomfort, stop immediately and seek medical attention .

– People with shoulder injuries should consult their doctor before engaging in shoulder exercises or strenuous upper body exercise.

– Avoid this shoulder press if you have any elbow, lower back or neck injuries.

– For individuals with shoulder injuries such as shoulder dislocation, shoulder instability or shoulder pain, the shoulder press is not recommended .

– Individuals suffering from shoulder impingement should consider avoiding this shoulder exercise.


The shoulder press is an excellent compound exercise for building shoulder muscles and strengthening the shoulders in general.

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