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The Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press


Fitness on 25th

By Fred Smith, YWCA Fitness on 25th Personal Trainer

Here is a great shoulder exercise. If you want to build strength in your shoulders, the shoulder press will do it for you. The major muscles used are the Anterior Deltoid, Medial Deltoid and upper portion of the Pectoralis Major.

Of course, like most exercises, there are many variations. The Shoulder Press is no exception. Today we are examining a more traditional shoulder press compared to versions you might be doing or have seen others do in the gym. This version uses free weights. YWCA Fitness on 25th also has a shoulder press machine which duplicates this motion. You can consider the shoulder press machine as another option. Remember though, using free weights challenge your stabilization muscles providing strength and coordination benefits the machine cannot duplicate.

You are going to need a bench with a back on it and some light weight dumbbells. Yes, using light weight for this allows you to concentrate on technique. Once you are comfortable with the exercise, you can add some weight.

Starting Position:

  • Sit upright on the bench
  • Hold dumbbells to your sides at shoulder level with palms facing forward


  • Begin by raising the dumbbells upward
  • At the mid point, your wrists should be directly over your elbows
  • At the end of the movement, your arms will be fully extended and the dumbbells should be directly over your shoulders
  • Return the movement to the starting position, repeat and have fun.

Want some help with your training? Reached a workout plateau? Book a Personal Training session with one of our trainers at the YWCA Fitness on 25th; we will help you reach your goals.