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How to do Dumbbell Military Press (Dumbbell Shoulder Press)

What is a Dumbbell Military Press

The dumbbell military press or dumbbell shoulder press is a common gym exercise used for complete development of your shoulder muscles. Performed either in seated or standing position, this form of military press is beneficial for strengthening your shoulders and improving balance on both the sides of your body.

Military Press with Dumbbell Benefits

  • The workout causes you to engage more supportive muscles since it involves the movement of two dumbbells independently.
  • Unlike the barbell variation, the dumbbell military press is performed by positioning your elbows out to the sides, which works more muscles from the middle and rear deltoid region.
  • The seated military press isolates your shoulders and prevents you from using other muscles in assisting with the movement.

Dumbbell Military Press Exercise Information

Other Names Military Dumbbell Press
Exercise Type Strength
Skill Level Beginner
Equipment Needed Dumbbells
Muscles Worked Primary: Shoulders; Secondary: Triceps, traps
Mechanics Compound
Force Type Push (Bilateral)
Alternative/Substitute Exercises Barbell Shoulder Press, Smith Machine Military Press
Variations Arnold Dumbbell Press

How to do Seated Dumbbell Military Press (Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press)

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells and place them upright on your thighs as you sit on a utility bench or a military press bench.
  • Push the weights up using your thighs so that you can raise them up to your shoulder height.
  • Rotate your wrists to ensure that the palms are facing forward. It is your initial position.
  • Contracting your deltoids and extending your elbows, continue pressing the dumbbells overhead until they touch.
  • After pausing a second or two, slowly lower the weights and return to the original position.
  • Repeat the movement for the required number of
Seated Dumbbell Military (Shoulder) Press

How to do a Standing Dumbbell Military Press (Standing Shoulder Press)

  • Grabbing a pair of dumbbells, stand straight with your feet spaced at shoulder width.
  • Lift the dumbbells up to your head height with your elbows flared out, maintaining an angle of 90 degrees between the forearm and upper arm. It is your initial position.
  • Extend through your elbows to press the weights overhead. Do not lean back or drive your legs to assist the movement.
  • Pause for a second and slowly go back to your starting position.
  • Repeat the steps for the recommended amount of reps.
Standing Dumbbell Military (Shoulder) Press

Dumbbell Military Press Tips

  • When doing the seated variation, make sure to keep your back straight and flat against the support throughout the exercise.
  • Do not lock your elbows out entirely at the top. Keep them slightly bent to maintain tension on your shoulders.
  • Avoid lowering the weights too far. Once the dumbbells reach your shoulder height, press them back.

Video: Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Dumbbell Military Press) Proper Form

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