Overhead Dumbbell Press

Strengthens the front of the shoulders (anterior deltoid) and the upper back (upper trapezius). There is also some benefit for the back of the upper arms (triceps).



  1. With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with shoulder-width apart. Keep the knees slightly bent.
  2. Raise the dumbbells to the sides of your shoulders with the palms facing front. Your elbows should be close to the body, pointing down. The top of the dumbbells should be about level with the tops of your shoulders.
  3. Take a breath, hold it and keep our abdominals tight then smoothly lift the dumbbells overhead till your arms are straight with the elbows just slightly bent. Exhale as soon as you pass the hardest part of the lift. (Holding your breath for just a split-second as you start the lift gives support to your spine).
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells to starting position.
Performance tips:
  1. Your arms are straight in the ending position but be sure that you are not locking your elbow joint.
  2. Do not allow the dumbbells to drift forward or backward in the ending position.
  3. In the uppermost position, your elbows should be next to your ears, not in front of them.
  4. Keep your abdominals tight and do not allow your lower back to arch to lift the dumbbells up.
  5. If you have ever had any kind of shoulder joint problem, avoid this exercise.

To increase the size of the muscle, use a weight heavy enough to get you tired after only eight repetitions. Rest. Do one or two more sets.

To tone and add definition to your shoulders, use a light to moderate weight that allows you to do 15 repetitions before the muscles get fatigued. Rest. Do one or two more sets.

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