A great alternative to the barbell shoulder press is the dumbbell shoulder press.

This is especially relevant for guys that are new to the game. Guys that have been going strong for at least a year will soon have to move on to the barbell press as heavy-ass dumbbells are extremely awkward to work with.

Here’s what you’ll need

  1. Dumbbells (I like the spin-lock kind as I can easily adjust the weight and have control over the amount)
  2. Gloves (optional)

There IS a way to optimize these but it has nothing to do with body movement – we’ll get into that after the (short) video

(1) Working with our biomechanics in this exercise means that we have to have our wrists at an angle that is most natural; both at the top and bottom of the movement.

(2) Try this: Stand up and execute a dumbbell press WITHOUT weights in front of a mirror – allow your wrists to simply be where they want to be, don’t force them into any particular angle.

At the bottom have your fists about in line with your chin. Now, note the angle that your wrists naturally take. At the top have your hands almost touching, palms facing out. Now note the position of the wrists again.

(3) Most people will have a wrist position that is neither ‘palms-facing-out‘, nor ‘palms-facing-head‘ at the bottom. This means the wrists have a diagonal-type position – The video illustrates this.

(4) At the top, you will most likely have a fully ‘palms-facing-out‘ position.

(5) So get your dumbbells into the starting position. With feet about shoulder-width apart, take a breath in and exhale as you push the dumbbells up.

(6) Allow your wrists to naturally rotate as you push the dumbbells up to touch each other at the top.

(7) Lower the weights SLOWLY and SMOOTHLY.

(8) That’s it. A very simple movement; it’s just important to get the wrist comfort right because as I’m always saying, ‘MAXIMUM comfort is MAXIMUM strength.’

All The Best!

Mark

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