How To Do & Muscles Worked

dumbbell shoulder press

Any standing press exercises are great for strengthening the shoulders. It’s especially functional for whenever you need to reach for and hold anything overhead, like getting things out of a high cabinet or high shelf.

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Challenging

Which Muscles Are Worked?

Diagram of primary and secondary muscles worked from Dumbbell shoulder press

Primary Muscles


Secondary Muscles

Abs Triceps

Exercise Type

Dumbbell icon

How to do dumbbell shoulder press Properly

Step by Step Guide

Begin standing with the feet hip distance apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand at the shoulders with a pronated grip (palms facing forward).

Press one arm directly overhead as you straighten that elbow. Keep the abs engaged to maintain a neutral spine.

Lower that arm down.

Repeat the shoulder press on the other arm.

Continuing alternating left and right arm.

Repeat for the desired repetitions.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake is losing abdominal control which is exhibited by the lower back extended (arching). This is a way of compensating. To avoid this, engage the abs by pulling the belly button to your spine. This will maintain a neutral spine position so the focus can be on strengthening just the shoulders.


Animation of how to do Dumbbell shoulder press