What muscles does the Dumbbell Shoulder Press work?

This exercise targets your shoulder muscles and is a must-do to build strong shoulders. You can also check out the barbell overhead press, a similar exercise.

How to perform the Dumbbell Shoulder Press?

You can stand (feet are shoulder-width apart and your core is engaged) or sit on a bench. If you have lower back problems it’s best to go with the sitting variation otherwise the standing version also works your core.

Raise the dumbbells just above your shoulders with your elbows bent and wrists rigid.

Press the dumbbells upwards until they’re almost touching each other. Keep a slight bend at your elbows. Then return to the starting position, upper arms pretty much parallel with the floor.

Video Demo

Pro Tips

  • Imagine that your arms are forming an arc above your head

  • You shouldn’t be able to see the dumbbells when they’re above your head. If you do then it means that your wrists are over your shoulders.

How to tell if you’re doing it right?

You stay grounded on the floor (if done standing) without swinging or arching your back.