When looking at the dumbbell shoulder press, some questions came up regarding which variation (sitting or standing) was best, and why. Then follow these steps: Unrack the … Let your arms hang by your side with your palms facing in to the side of your body. 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. 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). Hold for a count of one while squeezing your biceps. When talking about shoulders as a body part, the muscle group we’re referring to is the deltoids. Find the dumbbell shoulder press on Day 3 (shoulders and traps focus) of all four weeks of my Full-Body Shortcut to Size program. C. 3 sets. But if it’s shoulder day and the goal is to hit the middle delts, keep your torso vertical. 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). A lot of the force from that weight is being absorbed by the spine and into the sacrum and pelvis. This way, I’m hitting the muscles I want to hit without putting undue strain on my rotator cuffs. Close Grip Bench Press . 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. So, in this Master Class, I'm going to cover how to best do shoulder presses for maximum effectiveness and safety. Abs and Oblique Standing dumbbell shoulder press is the variation that exceptionally recruits muscles of your abs. Dumbbell shoulder presses will also activate the middle and rear delt. 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. 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. Alternative Exercises Standing Barbell Shoulder Press, Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Privacy Policy Dumbbell strength standards are based on the weight of each dumbbell, not the weight of two added together. Barbell Front Raise. When it sits lower like this, the weight is directly over the forearm bones, which makes for a stronger press. Curl the weight up to the shoulder area. The most important benefit of standing versus seated for me is that it provides more cushioning for my lower back. First of all, standing presses are more functional in everyday life than seated. The higher up in the hand the handle is, the further away it is from the forearm. Locking out the elbows at the top is not only unsafe for your joints, but it’s also unnecessary for maximizing middle delt involvement. 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. Standing Dumbbell Curls. What it comes down to is elbow position. When doing seated shoulder presses, you’re able to use more weight because your upper body is supported. Curl the dumbbell forward and up in a smooth arc, contracting your biceps and exhaling. Now, drive the dumbbells overhead. Also, when you’re pressing something overhead in real life (like putting a box up on a shelf), you’re standing up, right? There are biomechanical differences between the two, yet with proper technique, both versions are safe and effective. The Standing Dumbbell Press is an excellent exercise to start learning how to press over your head while standing. (As opposed to seated, where your lower body is totally eliminated from helping absorb any force.) Return to the start position in a controlled, smooth arc inhaling as you do so. With a barbell, you either have to go in front of the head or behind it. Everybody wants big shoulders, and the shoulder press is without a doubt the ultimate mass-builder for the deltoids. The biceps curl to overhead press can be performed using an alternating arm action, using just a single dumbbell at a time. Standing Dumbbell Press . Cable Cross Over . When standing, however, the legs, hips, knees, and ankles all act as shock absorbers and take some of the load. 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 Our dumbbell shoulder press standards are based on 486,000 lifts by Strength Level users. If you’re doing standing shoulder presses, you’ll first need to get the weight up to your shoulders. But if delt size is your main objective, go ahead and do seated presses, staying cognizant of both your lower back and shoulder health. "}, {"@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. Stop just shy of full elbow lockout at the top, then slowly lower the weight back down to the start position. Go somewhere around shoulder-width for your grip. When people say standing presses hurt their lower back, it’s often because those lower back muscles are weak. The overhead dumbbell press increases strength throughout the entire shoulder region. This is simply a standing dumbbell shoulder press, which is done identically to the seated version (with the exception of standing). ... Alternate Dumbbell Bicep Curls . Standing Dumbbell Overhead Shoulder Press. Step 3 Press the dumbbells straight overhead retaining the neutral hand position. Step 1 Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Barbell Curl. Hold a dumbbell in each hand just above shoulder height with your palms facing forward and arms bent. 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. Getting in the proper position on shoulder presses is critical for keeping the movement safe. Adonis Row Palms Down and Palms Up. Our exercise illustrations represent original artwork registered with and protected by the U.S. 1P2 Rep Tempo. So how do we keep the elbows in the right position to target the middle delts? That’s the starting position. AI Transformation Contest Posing Tutorial. 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. Well, yes and no. If they come too far back, you’ll be compromising your shoulder joint health. 2. Barbell shoulders presses can be found on Day 3 (shoulders and traps) of Tabata Builder. 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. For example, if you bicep curl 20 lb dumbbells in each arm that would count as 20 lb not the total 40 lb. Seated Dumbbell Press Homepage Exercise Profile Primary Muscle Group(s): Shoulders (Front and Side) Secondary Muscle Group(s): Triceps and Trapezius Exercise Instructions 1. Close-grip Barbell Bench Press. Posted in Exercise Database, Shoulders, Shoulders, Video, At Home, Gym | Tagged Shoulders, Exercise Demo, Exercise Database, Medicine Ball Shoulder Press | Leave a comment 10 reps. Alternate Incline Dumbbell Press. and Romanian Deadlift . Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level. A chest press is also known as a bench press. 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. Otherwise, do dumbbell shoulder presses to target the middle delts. – but it’s an important factor for overall fitness, health, and even strength. Spider Curl . You want them slightly forward to protect the shoulder joints from injury. 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. Shoulder presses can be performed with the elbows pointed out to the sides or more in front of the body and pointed forward. 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. One benefit of the standing version is you engage more core muscles to maintain your balance and control the weight. 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 … The hammer shoulder press is similar to traditional shoulder press except for a slight change in grip. By standing… This is your starting position. One simple way is to use dumbbells on shoulder presses instead of a barbell. You might think that’s a good thing, but if you have lower back issues it’s not. The only thing locking out the elbows does from a muscular standpoint is increase the contraction in the triceps. Keep your elbows close to your sides. Step … Alternating Vs. 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. 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. There are three deltoid muscles (or heads) in the shoulder: the anterior (front) deltoids, the middle deltoids, and the posterior (rear) deltoids. Being directly over the forearms makes for a more direct line of force, where you’re pressing into those handles and straight up. Bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms facing the body. And keep your neck as straight as possible – don’t flex your cervical spine at the bottom of the rep. Standing Shoulder Press With Dumbbells | … BarBell Deadlift (conventional) Barbell Deadlift Sumo Stance. Dumbbell Biceps Curl to Shoulder Press Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. 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). Movements like incline presses and even flat bench press hit the front delts to a large extent, with very little middle delt involvement. Aside from elbow position, you need to lock your shoulders into place to keep the movement safe and effective. In a seated position with your feet firmly planted on the floor, grasp two dumbbells with both hands. {"@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. Slowly, lower the dumbbells to your shoulders. Make sure your core is tight and your chest is … Hammer Shoulder Press. Terms of Use. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. 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. This cannot be achieved in sitting … 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. Because you’re supported by the seat or bench, you’ll be able to use more weight, and more weight equals more overload. One of the best dumbbell shoulder exercises is the shoulder press. You may also remain seated instead of standing. Elbow position determines deltoid involvement. Personally, my goal isn’t to maximize my shoulder size, so that’s why I prefer standing presses. Step 2 Keeping your hands in a neutral position, curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Now, flip them back so your palms are facing you. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold a kettlebell in one hand at your side. 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. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Keep your upper arms tight at your sides. 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. To absorb the weight in your lower body (not your spine and lower back), keep a slight bend in your knees throughout the movement. 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. 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. To do this, pull your shoulder blades together by contracting your middle traps and rhomboids; that’s going to stabilize the shoulder joints. Maximize deltoid size and strength with the best mass-building move there is for shoulders. 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. That said, your exact range of motion on shoulder presses will vary somewhat depending on what version of the movement you’re doing. Chest press. Copyright Office. As I mentioned above, your elbows should start out slightly in front of the body and stay that way throughout the movement. 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. That’s why I prefer dumbbell presses. Make sure your core is tight and your chest is up. 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. "}. You’re also engaging the core to a greater degree when standing versus sitting. Do not swing your hips to get the weight moving. 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. It’s a classic upper body strengthening … 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 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. Continue curling the dumbbell upward until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. 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. Save the elbow lockout for pushdowns and extensions. If you want to build wider shoulders, get that good roundness, and achieve those “cannonball delts,” you really need to develop the middle deltoids. You can do that with shoulder presses, provided you do them properly. Not that the incline press is a bad exercise, of course. Again, I’m not trying to be Mr. Functional Trainer here, but it’s good to consider real-world carryover when choosing exercise variations. Begin by curling the weight up towards your shoulders. AdChoices. The problem with barbell shoulder presses is that, when you bring the bar down, your head is in the way. 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! Performing the exercise from the standing position will actively engage the core throughout the range of motion. Curl the kettlebell up to your shoulder as you would with a regular dumbbell curl. Standing Lateral Raises . 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. The shoulder press can be done standing or seated. In this position, the front delts are more involved. Barbell Front Raise Standing And Seated. 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. 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. Other than that, keep those shoulders locked into position and press the weight with authority overhead. 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. 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. When doing shoulder presses, the main heads involved are the front and middle delts, not so much the rears. 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. 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. The two main variations of free-weight shoulder presses are dumbbell and barbell. The terms “shoulders” and “deltoids” (delts for short) are used interchangeably. Personally, I prefer to do my shoulder presses standing instead of seated, regardless of whether I’m using dumbbells or a barbell. 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. Unauthorized use violators will be prosecuted. Pressing with dumbbells while in standing activates the abdominal, oblique, lower back, and spinal stabilizer muscles. 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). Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. If you prefer, try doing the exercise on a low cable machine. In the Shoulder Press video #1 above, I show you how to use the Versa Gripps on shoulder presses at the 19:00 mark. 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. Both variations will effectively target the front delt. Once the dumbbells reach your shoulders, twist the dumbbells to have your palms face out. If you do decide to do behind-the-neck shoulder presses, make sure you don't lower the bar below your ears. “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. With arms tight at your sides, lower the dumbbells to the starting position. For many people, the only way to keep the elbows out to the sides on barbell shoulder presses is to go behind the head. To provide further support, contract the lats as well. Shoulder presses can be done from either a standing or seated position. Now, you may have heard people say to only go down to ear level. Win-win! Pull Ups . The seat provides no give, so it absorbs none of the force. … 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… Single Arm Cable Push Downs . If using an adjustable bench, have it set to a 90-degree angle, not leaned back. At that point, you’re basically doing an incline press. A lot of people assume that sitting would take pressure off my lower back, but this isn’t the case. You can switch gender of illustrations here. Curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. This greatly reduces the stress on the spine/lower back. Seated Lateral Raises . Hack Squat . EZ Bar Curl . And again, go with an open grip. 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. Strength | Advanced. 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. 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. The biceps can be tough to build because of the repetitions necessary to do so. But this is an exercise for the shoulders, not the triceps. Dumbbell Shoulder Press . 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. 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. 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