1. Seated on a bench, begin with the dumbbells at shoulder level, palms facing forward.
2. Press the dumbbells vertically upward until your elbows lock out.
3. Lower the dumbbells back down until they touch your shoulders.
Primary: Anterior deltoid.
Secondary: Lateral deltoid, triceps, trapezius, upper pectoralis.
Grip: Changing the orientation of the dumbbells affects hand position (grip). Pressing the dumbbells upward with palms facing forward (pronated grip) works both the anterior and the lateral heads of the deltoid. Pressing the dumbbells with palms facing together (neutral grip) makes the anterior deltoid work harder, minimizing lateral head involvement Holding the dumbbells with palms facing backward (supinated grip) maximizes anterior deltoid effort.
Positioning: Performing the exercise while seated upright is a stricter version than standing and prevents cheating the dumbbells upward using momentum.
Variable-Grip Dumbbell Press
This version uses three different hand positions during the repetition. Begin the exercise by holding the dumbbells with your palms facing back (supination). During the press, rotate the dumbbells so your palms face together (neutral grip) at the midpoint, finishing the upward press with your palms facing forward (pronated grip) at lockout.
Alternating one-arm dumbbell press: Perform the exercise by pressing one dumbbell at a time, alternating right arm then left arm.