Dumbbel Scott press exercise

Dumbbell Scott press

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Lateral Deltoid
  • Synergists: Anterior Deltoid, Posterior Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Stand with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Raise the dumbbells to the height of your chin, with your elbows pointing diagonally out to the sides and your pinkie fingers raised higher than your thumbs.


  1. Exhale as you swing your elbows backward and a little upward as you move your head and torso forward. At the top of the movement, the pinkie sides of your fists should be facing almost directly upward.
  2. Inhale as you reverse the movement and return to the starting position.
  3. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • The dumbbell Scott press was invented by Larry Dee Scott, the first ever winner of Mr. Olympia (in 1965). It’s one of few exercises that targets the lateral deltoid and one of very few exercises that manages to also significantly activate both the anterior deltoid and the posterior deltoid, making it a full-shoulder exercise.
  • The dumbbell Scott press can be difficult to master. What’s more, most demonstrations of the exercise that you find online are completely wrong. Please refer to the video demonstrations below for detailed instructions of how to perform the exercise properly.
  • Because the amount of elbow flexion in the dumbbell Scott press is minimal, the triceps brachii have not been listed as synergists and the exercise has been classified as an isolated pull movement.
  • The dumbbell Scott press is a must for those who want broad shoulders. Experienced lifters can use it to pre-exhaust their shoulders before hitting the shoulders with the barbell overhead press.
  • See also the Arnold press, which is often confused with the dumbbell Scott press.
  • For other exercises targeting the lateral deltoid, try the cable Y-raise, the dumbbell armpit row, and the barbell wide-grip upright row.

Dumbbell Scott press videos

Here’s Larry Dee Scott himself teaching a student how to perform the dumbbell Scott press.

And here’s another demonstration of the dumbbell Scott press by Daryl Conant, a student of Vince Gironda, who helped to popularize the exercise.


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