Shoulder press

Fitness dumbbells

This exercise is often incorporated into a complete program for intermediate and advanced strength athletes. The shoulder press develops the anterior and lateral deltoid muscles and is a great workout for the triceps brachii. Raising the dumbbells overhead also requires a lot of stability in the trunk and shoulders, which requires additional muscles such as the supraspinatus, trapezius, anterior serratus (serratus anterior), abs and the muscles in the lower back. The exercise is ideal for sports or occupations involving overhead pushing or lifting, such as rugby, martial arts or dancing. She can be done at a gym or at home, but does require a spotter.


Sit on a bench or chair with back support, feet apart. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and hold both at ear level, palms facing forward and forearms vertical. Push the dumbbells up until the arms are extended above the head and let the dumbbells meet at the top. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position. With heavy weights, use a spotter or rack to get the barbell into the correct starting position.

Do it well
Keep the core muscles tensed and sit upright, because the back should not curve.

Use a spotter to prevent the weight from falling on your head.


Do a seated military press on a back-supported bench or chair with feet slightly apart. Grab a dumbbell with hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart and palms facing forward. Raise the barbell until the arms are extended above the head. Slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.

Do an Arnold press: a dumbbell in each hand and hold both in front of the shoulders, palms facing you and elbows under the wrists – like the top position of a chin-up. Push the dumbbells up and move the elbows out until the arms are extended above the head; turn palms forward. Slowly lower the weights and return them to the starting position.

Active muscles

  1. Voorste en laterale deltoideus