Dumbbell one-arm shoulder press exercise

Dumbbell one-arm shoulder press

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Anterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Triceps Brachii, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior, Clavicular (Upper) Pectoralis Major, Obliques, Psoas Major, Iliocastalis Lumborum, Iliocastalis Thoracis
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Stand holding a dumbbell in one hand, placing your free hand on your waist for support.
  2. Raise the dumbbell to the side of your shoulder, keeping your elbow pointing directly downward and your palm facing forward.


  1. Exhale as you press the dumbbell upward.
  2. At the top of the movement, shrug your shoulder to raise the dumbbell even higher.
  3. Inhale as you reverse the motions and lower the dumbbell to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  5. Repeat with your opposite arm.

Comments and tips

  • As you press the dumbbell upward, you can either lean a little to the opposite side to maintain balance or try to keep your torso straight.
  • Do not lock your elbow out at the top of the press.
  • Keep the movement under full controlled. Do not use momentum.
  • Performing the dumbbell one-arm shoulder press gets many more core stabilizer muscles involved than the barbell shoulder press. You can also use the dumbbell one-arm shoulder press to fix strength differences between your shoulders. In this case, make sure to start with your weaker shoulder, and do not do more reps with your stronger shoulder.
  • See also the seated dumbbell one-arm shoulder press, the band shoulder press, and the Smith machine shoulder press.

Dumbbell one-arm shoulder press video


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