Seated neutral-grip dumbbell overhead press exercise

Seated elbows-in dumbbell overhead press

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Anterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Clavicular (Upper) Pectoralis Major, Triceps Brachii, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior
  • Dynamic stabilizers: Biceps Brachii (not highlighted in illustration), Triceps Brachii (long head)
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, sit on a bench or chair and place the dumbbells on your knees.
  2. Kick the dumbbells up with your knees, one at a time, and position them in front of your shoulders, with your elbows tucked into your body. Your elbows should be directly below your wrists and your palms should be facing each other (i.e. neutral or parallel grip).


  1. Exhale as you press the dumbbells upward, over your head, until your arms are almost fully extended.
  2. Inhale as you lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
  3. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your back and neck neutral.
  • Do not lock out your elbows.
  • By keeping your elbows tucked into your body, you put less pressure on the shoulder joints, making this variation of the overhead press more suitable for those who suffer from shoulder pain. You also emphasize the use of your anterior deltoid and upper pectoralis major, and reduce the contribution of your lateral deltoid.
  • The seated position prevents cheating by ensuring that your body is kept still.
  • See also the seated elbows-in alternating dumbbell overhead press and the seated dumbbell overhead press.

Seated neutral-grip dumbbell overhead press video


Similar Posts