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- Target muscle: Anterior Deltoid
- Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Triceps Brachii, Clavicular (upper) Pectoralis Major, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior, Supraspinatus
- Mechanics: Compound
- Force: Push
- Holding a pair of dumbbells, sit up straight on a bench or chair, preferably one that supports your back.
- Raise the dumbbells one at a time to each side, and hold them at shoulder height, with your palms facing forward.
- Exhale as you press the dumbbells upward and inward until they almost touch over your head.
- At the top of the movement, shrug your shoulders to raise the dumbbells even higher.
- Inhale as you reverse the motions and lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
Comments and tips
- Keep your back straight.
- For optimal back support, make sure your lower back is in constant contact with the back of the chair.
- To raise heavy dumbbells into position, rest them on your knees and then kick them up into position one at a time.
- Do not lock your elbows out at the top of the press. This will safeguard your elbows as well as keep the tension on your shoulders.
- The seated position reduces your ability to cheat.
- The seated dumbbell overhead press is also known as the seated dumbbell shoulder press.
- Occasionally, perform the seated dumbbell overhead press with one arm at a time, as it will get more core stabilizer muscles involved and help you to develop unilateral strength.
- See also the seated neutral-grip dumbbell overhead press, the seated elbows-in alternating dumbbell overhead press, and the standing wide-grip barbell overhead press.
Seated dumbbell overhead press video