The alternate dumbbell shoulder press is a staple upper body strength exercise. Mostly focusing on your shoulders, this exercise can also offer an extra core challenge. Here’s how to include it on your workout for increased exercise and sports performance.
- The alternate dumbbell shoulder press is an excellent upper body strength exercise with an extra core challenge.
- It can offer an alternative to the traditional shoulder press, and can also be performed seated or kneeling — for an extra core challenge.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding two dumbbells.
- Clean the dumbbells to the front rack position. Set the shoulders and engage the core.
- While maintaining an upright posture, press one dumbbell overhead. Keep the other one tightly in the front rack position.
- Return and switch sides. Repeat for reps or time.
- Overhead presses are a foundation upper body strength movement. Any free weights movement that requires pressing a load overhead also places an increased demand on the core muscles to stabilise the load. This stability is both afforded by proper alignment and core muscle engagement.
- With the alternate dumbbell shoulder press, there is asymmetrical loading, which ‘pulls’ the body to one side, placing additional demand on the opposing core muscles to stabilise the movement. The alternate action maintains a steady tension through the core throughout the entire set.
- With this in mind, alternate movements will quickly highlight any strength or stability deficits very quickly — so don’t be surprised if you need to drop the weight slightly.
- Don’t forget to explore this exercise in a seated or kneeling position. Kneeling will almost completely remove the stability provided by the lower leg and place more emphasis on the upper leg and hips as the stabilisers. In the seated position, you take the legs and hips out of the equation, and the core will have to work harder to stabilise the movement. In both cases, start with a lower weight than usual and focus on maintaining proper technique and control.