Dumbbell Shoulder Press Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

Dumbbell Shoulder Press is a strength exercise that works your traps, deltoids and front deltoids.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press is a great simple move. When done correctly, it can effectively target your neck, shoulders, upper back and upper body.

It requires dumbbells to do.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

How to do Dumbbell Shoulder Press


Place dumbbells on either side of shoulders with elbows below wrists.


Press dumbbells upward until arms are extended overhead. Lower to sides of shoulders and repeat.


  • See suggested mount and dismount when using heavy dumbbells.

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do dumbbell shoulder press from this step-by-step illustrations:

Dumbbell Shoulder Press 1
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 2

Muscles Worked

The muscles used for dumbbell shoulder press may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for dumbbell shoulder press are:

Primary Muscles

  • Traps
  • Deltoids
  • Front Deltoids

Synergyst Muscles

  • Triceps
  • Pecs
  • Rear Deltoids

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Dumbbell Shoulder Press work?
Dumbbell Shoulder Press works traps, deltoids, front deltoids.
What is Dumbbell Shoulder Press good for?
Dumbbell Shoulder Press is beneficial for conditioning and to strengthen. It works the best for neck, shoulders, upper back and upper body, as it works traps, deltoids, front deltoids. Dumbbell Shoulder Pres is a great strength exercise for men, men over 50, women and women over 50.
Is Dumbbell Shoulder Pres a good exercise?
Dumbbell Shoulder Pres is a popular strength exercise for traps, deltoids, front deltoids.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Dumbbell Shoulder Press faster?

Dumbbell Shoulder Press Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Dumbbell Shoulder Press and how should you?

Dumbbell Shoulder Press Standards and Averages


Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Dumbbell Shoulder Press Alternatives


Wonder how to make Dumbbell Shoulder Press either easier or more challenging?

Dumbbell Shoulder Press Variations

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Type(s) Strength, Compound
Muscles Worked Trapezius, Triceps Brachii, Deltoids, Pectorals, Lateral Deltoids, Anterior Deltoids
Difficulty Level(s) Simple
Equipment Dumbbells
Location At Gym, At Home, Outdoor
Major Exercise Barbell Military Press

Muscles Worked

Target muscle(s) Traps, Deltoids, Front Deltoids
Synergyst muscle(s) Triceps, Pecs, Rear Deltoids

Discover more