How to Do a Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The Dumbbell Shoulder Press
As common as the dumbbell shoulder press is, you would be surprised by just how many people are not doing it right. If you are looking to build muscle and get the most out of your gym time, the secret is to make sure that you are performing your exercises correctly. So before you give up on this exercise, try these tips on how to do the dumbbell press right to build your shoulder muscles.
The Right Way to Do the Shoulder Dumbbell Press
There are two basic modifications of the dumbbell press; one of them is to do it standing and the second one is to do it sitting on a bench press. Both of these exercises work on building strong shoulder muscles, however, if you are just starting off, you might want to start off with the sitting dumbbell shoulder press at least until you get used to the right body posture and alignment to maintain.
The dumbbell press is very effective for building strong shoulder muscles but if you are doing it wrongly you might be building the wrong muscles – building your triceps and you might even get an injury from working out. These tips are safe and right ways to do the dumbbell press, it explains the sitting variation.
How to-do the Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Step 1: Get the right sitting posture - First of all, you want to start off sitting on your shoulder bench or a preacher bench. It is important to have comfortable seating as well as a good back or headrest so that you can maintain the right sitting posture all through. When you sit, ensure that you are not hunched over or arching your back beyond the natural state of your spine otherwise you may develop a lower back injury. Seated in this position, you should check your posture and check that your heels are firmly planted on the ground at your sides.
Step 2: Lift dumbbells to start position: The start position is all about the position of your joints, the level of the dumbbell and the weight of the dumbbell. First of all, you are advised to start small as regards the weight, make sure you are starting with less weight than you are used to lifting (up to 25kg less). The key is to build up the weight in time so that you overload and hurt your joints. Starting with too much weight can hurt your shoulder, your elbow, your wrist, and even your lower back because it is harder to maintain the right posture.
Haven checked the weight, pick up the dumbbells and lift it up to be on the same level with your ear. When picking up the dumbbells, ensure that you do not lock either your elbow or your shoulders, make sure that when the dumbbell is dropped on the floor, you don’t have to completely stretch your arms to reach it. Maintain a slight bend in your elbow as you reach for the dumbbell, engage your core, your thighs and firmly plant your feet on the ground as you lift. If you find your feet lifting from the ground, your joints locking or you notice you are rushing through this stage, it means the weights are too heavy and you should check that.
With your dumbbells at start position (at your ear level), check once again that your posture is correct, your joints aren’t locked, your shoulder blades should be pulled down and relaxed, and your palms should be facing outwards and away from you.
Step 3: Lift the dumbbells - From this position, engage your lower abdomen as you lift your arms up and tilt the dumbbells slightly inwards. Make sure you do not rush this step, let the movement follow your breath i.e. exhale while raising the dumbbell and inhale while you bring down your arms to start position. This way, you ensure you are not holding your breath and that you are not rushing through it.
Once again, if you find that you are rushing through it, then perhaps the weights are too heavy or your sitting position is wrong, check. Make sure you do not lock your joints when you stretch upwards, make sure by maintaining a slight bend in your elbow.
Make sure the dumbbells do not clash with each other when raised up and hold your breath at the top for some seconds to maximise core stability. Then return to start position (at ear level) and repeat.
There is a standing variation where the routine is done with legs apart (slightly beyond hip length). The standing shoulder dumbbell press is more intense and makes use of more core stability and mindfulness than the sitting variation. If you are new at it, you may want to get used to the sitting dumbbell bench press before moving on to the standing variation.
Benefits of the Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The shoulder dumbbell press helps build the shoulder muscles, enhance core strength and stability and build shoulder balance. If you feel an imbalance of dumbbell levels during your workout, it means that you have uneven shoulder strength and you can work on fixing that.
Common Mistakes People Make When Doing the Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The common mistakes people makes when doing the shoulder dumbbell press is poor body alignment, locking their joints, rushing through it and failing to breathe properly.
These mistakes can cause accidents and may end up in a futile time at the gym as you end up building the wrong muscle. To avoid frustration and stay safe, adhere to the tips in the steps above. Another common mistake people make is doing the routine with an injury; if you have an injury in any of the involved joints or muscle, please consult your physician to ensure it is a safe practice for you.
In conclusion, the dumbbell shoulder press is an important gym routine that will strengthen the shoulder muscle and you want to make sure you are doing it right even when your instructor isn’t looking. Stay mindful of your breathing and your body alignment and pace yourself properly to reap all the benefits of the shoulder dumbbell press.