Dumbbell w-press

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Anterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Clavicular (Upper) Pectoralis Major, Supraspinatus, Serratus Anterior, Middle and Lower Trapezius
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your arms in a ‘W’ position.


  1. Keeping your elbows fixed, exhale as you raise the dumbbells in a circular motion until they nearly touch each other over your head.
  2. Inhale as you return the dumbbells to the starting position.
  3. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your elbows locked. They must neither flex nor extend.
  • The dumbbell w-press is quite a rare exercise but very effective at overloading the anterior and lateral deltoids. Because the elbows are kept fixed, there is no involvement of the triceps brachii.
  • If experienced and struggling to get more growth in your shoulders, you can use the dumbbell w-press to pre-exhaust your shoulders before hitting them with the dumbbell or barbell overhead press.
  • Do not confuse the dumbbell w-press with the dumbbell Arnold press.

Dumbbell w-press video

This is a decent demonstration of the seated dumbbell w-press.



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