Standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold a kettlebell in one hand at your side. Hammer Shoulder Press. Movements like incline presses and even flat bench press hit the front delts to a large extent, with very little middle delt involvement. Keep your upper arms tight at your sides. EZ Bar Curl . The overhead dumbbell press increases strength throughout the entire shoulder region. Chest press. Again, I’m not trying to be Mr. Functional Trainer here, but it’s good to consider real-world carryover when choosing exercise variations. Now, drive the dumbbells overhead. Well, yes and no. Stopping at ear level is what I advise for behind-the-neck presses or if your hands are well outside shoulder-width (either with a bar or dumbbells); going below that puts undue stress on the rotator cuffs due to excessive external rotation. Keeping your elbows slightly in front of the body but still pointed out to the sides, press the dumbbells straight up overhead by contracting your shoulder muscles and extending your elbows. Abs and Oblique Standing dumbbell shoulder press is the variation that exceptionally recruits muscles of your abs. The higher up in the hand the handle is, the further away it is from the forearm. Other than that, keep those shoulders locked into position and press the weight with authority overhead. In a seated position with your feet firmly planted on the floor, grasp two dumbbells with both hands. The standing version is better on the lower back, while seated presses allow you to use more weight and place more overload on the delts. 10 reps. And again, go with an open grip. There are biomechanical differences between the two, yet with proper technique, both versions are safe and effective. In an earlier article we discussed the dumbbell shoulder press, a great movement to gain valuable muscle mass, strength, and address asymmetries for athletes and lifters of all sports. For the standing barbell press, walk up to the bar and grab it slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with palms facing away from your body. Once the dumbbells reach your shoulders, twist the dumbbells to have your palms face out. You might think the only way to perform dumbbell shoulder presses in a sitting position, but you can also perform them in a standing position. To move the bar in front of your face so that you can keep lowering it, your elbows have to come in front of your body. Being directly over the forearms makes for a more direct line of force, where you’re pressing into those handles and straight up. To absorb the weight in your lower body (not your spine and lower back), keep a slight bend in your knees throughout the movement. I’m not jumping on the “functional training” bandwagon by any means, but with standing shoulder presses you are, in fact, using more muscles in the body and burning more calories; research proves that. AdChoices. Step … The shoulder press (aka, overhead press) is the most effective exercise you can do for building overall mass in the shoulders, particularly the middle delts; however, it’s also an exercise that can put your shoulders and spine in compromised positions if not performed correctly. If you want to build wider shoulders, get that good roundness, and achieve those “cannonball delts,” you really need to develop the middle deltoids. When using a low-back seat, especially when going heavy, a lot of people will let their butt slide forward on the seat so that they’re leaning way back. The seat provides no give, so it absorbs none of the force. Unauthorized use violators will be prosecuted. Go somewhere around shoulder-width for your grip. Personally, my goal isn’t to maximize my shoulder size, so that’s why I prefer standing presses. Shoulder presses can be done from either a standing or seated position. The problem with barbell shoulder presses is that, when you bring the bar down, your head is in the way. Dumbbell Shoulder Press . Strength | Advanced. Posted in Exercise Database, Shoulders, Shoulders, Video, At Home, Gym | Tagged Shoulders, Exercise Demo, Exercise Database, Medicine Ball Shoulder Press | Leave a comment You might think that’s a good thing, but if you have lower back issues it’s not. You’re also engaging the core to a greater degree when standing versus sitting. C. 3 sets. And keep your neck as straight as possible – don’t flex your cervical spine at the bottom of the rep. One simple way is to use dumbbells on shoulder presses instead of a barbell. Our exercise illustrations represent original artwork registered with and protected by the U.S. You can do that with shoulder presses, provided you do them properly. But this is an exercise for the shoulders, not the triceps. {"@context": "http://schema.org/","@id": "https://www.jimstoppani.com/home/videos/shoulder-press-1/file/flash","name":"Shoulder Press Master Class Part 1","@type": "VideoObject","thumbnailUrl": "https://s3.amazonaws.com/jstoppani/main_files_1192_thumb0.jpg","embedUrl": "https://www.jimstoppani.com/home/videos/shoulder-press-1/file/flash","uploadDate": "2018-12-12 18:17:31 UTC","description":"Maximize deltoid size and strength with the best mass-building move there is for shoulders. Unlike other muscle groups that you can strengthen with a variety of exercises, the biceps must be engaged through basically the same motion: the curl… But if delt size is your main objective, go ahead and do seated presses, staying cognizant of both your lower back and shoulder health. – but it’s an important factor for overall fitness, health, and even strength. One of the best dumbbell shoulder exercises is the shoulder press. Begin by curling the weight up towards your shoulders. So, in this Master Class, I'm going to cover how to best do shoulder presses for maximum effectiveness and safety. By standing… Save the elbow lockout for pushdowns and extensions. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. 1P2 Rep Tempo. Standing up straight with a dumbbell in each hand, bend at your elbows to curl the weights up to your shoulders (be sure to keep your palms … Step 2 Keeping your hands in a neutral position, curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders. On this exercise, the open grip keeps the bar/handle lower in the palm, down by the meat of the hand versus up near the knuckles. You can switch gender of illustrations here. And not just on shoulder presses; where the lower back is concerned, standing is better than seated on dumbbell lateral raises and dumbbell curls as well. Make sure your core is tight and your chest is … Dumbbell shoulder presses will also activate the middle and rear delt. So how do we keep the elbows in the right position to target the middle delts? I don’t prescribe one-arm dumbbell presses all that often in my programs, but if you want to focus on core strength, definitely consider subbing that in wherever I list dumbbell shoulder press in a workout. Not only are standing presses good for taking pressure off the spine; the exercise is also good for strengthening … Cable Cross Over . With arms tight at your sides, lower the dumbbells to the starting position. ... Alternate Dumbbell Bicep Curls . I used to race motocross as a teenager and I had a bad accident, so I have some pretty serious back issues in my lumbar spine. Everybody wants big shoulders, and the shoulder press is without a doubt the ultimate mass-builder for the deltoids. I know a lot of people hate talking about the core – because everyone talks about core training, even people who have no idea what they’re talking about! Standing Dumbbell Arnold Press Grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Shoulder presses can be performed with the elbows pointed out to the sides or more in front of the body and pointed forward. Performing the exercise from the standing position will actively engage the core throughout the range of motion. Stop just shy of full elbow lockout at the top, then slowly lower the weight back down to the start position. Seated Lateral Raises . In this position, the front delts are more involved. Find the dumbbell shoulder press on Day 3 (shoulders and traps focus) of all four weeks of my Full-Body Shortcut to Size program. Close Grip Bench Press . This cannot be achieved in sitting … I prefer standing for a few different reasons…. First of all, standing presses are more functional in everyday life than seated. A chest press is also known as a bench press. 2. I talk often about the benefits of using an open grip (thumb on the same side of the bar or dumbbell handle as the fingers, as opposed to wrapped around the bar) on bench press and lat pulldowns, and it’s also effective for shoulder presses. When it sits lower like this, the weight is directly over the forearm bones, which makes for a stronger press. Curl the kettlebell up to your shoulder as you would with a regular dumbbell curl. This applies more to a barbell press, but this should also give you an idea of how wide to have your hands when using dumbbells. If you’re doing standing shoulder presses, you’ll first need to get the weight up to your shoulders. Let your arms hang by your side with your palms facing in to the side of your body. What it comes down to is elbow position. At that point, you’re basically doing an incline press. Dumbbell strength standards are based on the weight of each dumbbell, not the weight of two added together. The shoulder press can be done standing or seated. The motion here is pretty straightforward: Press the weight straight up overhead. With dumbbells, you’re able to flare the elbows out without having to worry about hitting yourself in the head or face or lowering the weight behind your head (more on behind-the-neck barbell presses in a moment). Alternative Exercises Standing Barbell Shoulder Press, Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Romanian Deadlift . Then follow these steps: Unrack the … That’s the starting position. Slowly, lower the dumbbells to your shoulders. If they come too far back, you’ll be compromising your shoulder joint health. Now, you may have heard people say to only go down to ear level. This greatly reduces the stress on the spine/lower back. Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. When people say standing presses hurt their lower back, it’s often because those lower back muscles are weak. When doing shoulder presses, the main heads involved are the front and middle delts, not so much the rears. and Aside from elbow position, you need to lock your shoulders into place to keep the movement safe and effective. Privacy Policy Hack Squat . Standing Shoulder Press With Dumbbells | … Not that the incline press is a bad exercise, of course. “I’ve laid the groundwork for you by doing the research in the lab to find out what really works, designing the programs and systems, creating the content, and developing the technology. The hammer shoulder press is similar to traditional shoulder press except for a slight change in grip. And not just on shoulder presses; where the lower back is concerned, standing is better than seated on dumbbell lateral raises and dumbbell curls as well. (As opposed to seated, where your lower body is totally eliminated from helping absorb any force.) If you’re worried the weights my slip out of your hands with the open grip, I highly recommend wrist straps (I like the Versa Gripps brand, personally). Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press. My knowledge is your power – now it’s up to you to run with it and get the results.”, By logging in, you agree to Bowleg Media's In the below “Setup” section, I’ll get into more detail on how to stabilize the shoulder joints during the movement to minimize injury risk. Curl the weight up to the shoulder area. This way, I’m hitting the muscles I want to hit without putting undue strain on my rotator cuffs. Same thing when using an adjustable bench and you adjust the seat back so that’s one or two clicks down from fully upright; it’s more like an incline press, and it’s hitting the front deltoids to a larger extent. Terms of Use. Step 3 Press the dumbbells straight overhead retaining the neutral hand position. The biceps can be tough to build because of the repetitions necessary to do so. And you don’t want to avoid strengthening them by always doing seated presses – in that case, the bench or seat becomes your crutch for weak spinal erectors. Single Arm Cable Push Downs . You want them slightly forward to protect the shoulder joints from injury. Barbell Front Raise. Step 1 Stand with your feet hip-width apart. If using an adjustable bench, have it set to a 90-degree angle, not leaned back. It’s a classic upper body strengthening … Standing Dumbbell Curls. Otherwise, do dumbbell shoulder presses to target the middle delts. Elbow position determines deltoid involvement. Barbell shoulders presses can be found on Day 3 (shoulders and traps) of Tabata Builder. The difference in grip, however, makes an impact on how your shoulder joints move and which portion of your shoulder muscles has to handle the load. When your elbows are in front of the body, however, coming down below the chin is fine. Locking out the elbows at the top is not only unsafe for your joints, but it’s also unnecessary for maximizing middle delt involvement. Make sure your core is tight and your chest is up. Pressing weight one hand at a time is much easier and requires less flexibility than pressing weights with both hands over your head at the same time. BarBell Deadlift (conventional) Barbell Deadlift Sumo Stance. Bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms facing the body. To do this, pull your shoulder blades together by contracting your middle traps and rhomboids; that’s going to stabilize the shoulder joints. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Dumbbell Biceps Curl to Shoulder Press Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Standing Dumbbell Press . Pressing with dumbbells while in standing activates the abdominal, oblique, lower back, and spinal stabilizer muscles. "}. Hold for a count of one while squeezing your biceps. Barbell Curl. The biceps curl to overhead press can be performed using an alternating arm action, using just a single dumbbell at a time. Copyright Office. Curl the dumbbell forward and up in a smooth arc, contracting your biceps and exhaling. When the elbows come out to the sides, it’s hitting more middle delt; when the upper arms are in front of the body, it’s emphasizing the front delts more. AI Transformation Contest Posing Tutorial. BENEFITS OF THE STANDING DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS Teaches stable shoulder position when reaching overhead Improves mobility in the shoulder joint by allowing the shoulders to rotate freely without the restriction of a barbell Encourages strength development of all three heads of the shoulder muscles, triceps, while teaching core stability Spider Curl . One last point on seated shoulder presses: Even though it’s not my preferred version of the exercise, it is without a doubt the best way to overload the middle delts for maximum shoulder size – provided you maintain that nice upright torso position. The terms “shoulders” and “deltoids” (delts for short) are used interchangeably. Note: The above videos were recorded as Facebook Live tutorials in conjunction with the Train With Jim Full-Body Shortcut to Size (Video #1) and Tabata Builder (Video #2) programs. As I mentioned above, your elbows should start out slightly in front of the body and stay that way throughout the movement. When you come down, lower the bar or the handles of the dumbbells to below chin level; if using a barbell, you’ll be bringing it down to your collarbones. When standing, however, the legs, hips, knees, and ankles all act as shock absorbers and take some of the load. Alternating Vs. To provide further support, contract the lats as well. When looking at the dumbbell shoulder press, some questions came up regarding which variation (sitting or standing) was best, and why. To take the concept even further, research shows that the one-arm dumbbell shoulder press (where your non-working hand is not holding a dumbbell) is a great core exercise because it puts you in an unbalanced position and forces those muscles to work harder. Personally, I prefer to do my shoulder presses standing instead of seated, regardless of whether I’m using dumbbells or a barbell. You may also remain seated instead of standing. Close-grip Barbell Bench Press. If you’re able to keep your elbows out to the sides, though, with barbell presses, keeping doing it. The Standing Dumbbell Press is an excellent exercise to start learning how to press over your head while standing. Barbell Front Raise Standing And Seated. Seated Dumbbell Press Homepage Exercise Profile Primary Muscle Group(s): Shoulders (Front and Side) Secondary Muscle Group(s): Triceps and Trapezius Exercise Instructions 1. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level. "}, {"@context": "http://schema.org/","@id": "https://www.jimstoppani.com/home/videos/shoulder-press-2/file/flash","name":"Shoulder Press Master Class Part 2","@type": "VideoObject","thumbnailUrl": "https://s3.amazonaws.com/jstoppani/main_files_1193_thumb0.jpg","embedUrl": "https://www.jimstoppani.com/home/videos/shoulder-press-2/file/flash","uploadDate": "2018-12-12 18:17:33 UTC","description":"Maximize deltoid size and strength with the best mass-building move there is for shoulders. But if it’s shoulder day and the goal is to hit the middle delts, keep your torso vertical. A lot of people assume that sitting would take pressure off my lower back, but this isn’t the case. Standing Dumbbell Overhead Shoulder Press. When talking about shoulders as a body part, the muscle group we’re referring to is the deltoids. You should have straps for pulling exercises anyway, so use them on shoulder presses as well just in case the handles or bar slips out of your hand. Return to the start position in a controlled, smooth arc inhaling as you do so. That’s why I prefer dumbbell presses. Alternate Incline Dumbbell Press. Getting in the proper position on shoulder presses is critical for keeping the movement safe. Adonis Row Palms Down and Palms Up. Now, flip them back so your palms are facing you. Now, just to be clear, the elbows are pointed out to the sides, but they’re still slightly in front of the shoulders and torso, not directly in line with them. In other words, instead of the elbows being slightly in front of the body, they’re rotated further back (in line with, or slightly behind, the body). Keep your elbows close to your sides. If you prefer, try doing the exercise on a low cable machine. Standing Lateral Raises . Also, when you’re pressing something overhead in real life (like putting a box up on a shelf), you’re standing up, right? Hold a dumbbell in each hand just above shoulder height with your palms facing forward and arms bent. The two main variations of free-weight shoulder presses are dumbbell and barbell. Not only are standing presses good for taking pressure off the spine; the exercise is also good for strengthening the lower back muscles (spinal erectors). A lot of the force from that weight is being absorbed by the spine and into the sacrum and pelvis. Win-win! Bodybuilders (and anyone who lifts weights a lot) tend to have overpowering front delts compared to middle delts because of all the chest exercises they do. There are three deltoid muscles (or heads) in the shoulder: the anterior (front) deltoids, the middle deltoids, and the posterior (rear) deltoids. That said, if you don’t have lower back issues and you prefer to do shoulder presses seated, at least make sure your torso is fully upright. With a barbell, you either have to go in front of the head or behind it. Ab Wheel Roll Outs. Our dumbbell shoulder press standards are based on 486,000 lifts by Strength Level users. In the Shoulder Press video #1 above, I show you how to use the Versa Gripps on shoulder presses at the 19:00 mark. But there are a number of ways you can do this exercise incorrectly and harm not only the vulnerable shoulder joints but even the lower back. This is your starting position. Basically, when the elbows are back and in line with your torso, you need to be more careful about not bringing the weight down too far. The problem here is that you get external rotation of the shoulders, which can compromise the rotator cuff and potentially cause problems down the road. This is simply a standing dumbbell shoulder press, which is done identically to the seated version (with the exception of standing). The most important benefit of standing versus seated for me is that it provides more cushioning for my lower back. For example, if you bicep curl 20 lb dumbbells in each arm that would count as 20 lb not the total 40 lb. Don’t forget, those lower back muscles are part of the core, and we know that standing shoulder presses are great for strengthening that area. If you do decide to do behind-the-neck shoulder presses, make sure you don't lower the bar below your ears. Both variations will effectively target the front delt. The only thing locking out the elbows does from a muscular standpoint is increase the contraction in the triceps. When doing seated shoulder presses, you’re able to use more weight because your upper body is supported. Step 1 Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a barbell in front of your chest with your arms bent and hands shoulder-width apart. Stand holding a pair of dumbbells at shoulder level with your palms facing forward and elbows out to the sides, not in front of your torso. For many people, the only way to keep the elbows out to the sides on barbell shoulder presses is to go behind the head. Because you’re supported by the seat or bench, you’ll be able to use more weight, and more weight equals more overload. Continue curling the dumbbell upward until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Maximize deltoid size and strength with the best mass-building move there is for shoulders. That said, your exact range of motion on shoulder presses will vary somewhat depending on what version of the movement you’re doing. One benefit of the standing version is you engage more core muscles to maintain your balance and control the weight. Do not swing your hips to get the weight moving. Pull Ups . Curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. You can do this by performing a clean before your first rep. Or, if you’re doing barbell shoulder presses and you don’t want to clean the weight, you can set the bar up at shoulder height in a power rack and grab it from there. With dumbbells, however, the imaginary line between your hands can literally go right through the middle of your head when lowering the weights, thus allowing you to keep the elbows pointed out to the sides while not externally rotating the shoulders too much. 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