Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Unilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Traps, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Alternate Seated Dumbbell Press Overview

The seated alternating dumbbell press is a variation of the seated dumbbell press and an exercise utilized to build shoulder muscle size and strength.

By alternating the shoulder press, you will challenge both your shoulder and core stability to maintain proper alignment and form throughout the exercise.

Alternating and unilateral exercises are especially helpful in building balanced size and strength.

Alternate Seated Dumbbell Press Instructions

  1. Set up an adjustable angle bench to 90 degrees and select the desired weight from the rack.
  2. Pick up the dumbbells from the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in). Position the end of the dumbbells on your knees and sit down on the bench.
  3. Using a safe and controlled motion, kick your knees up one at a time in order to get each dumbbell into place.
  4. Once the dumbbells are in place, rotate your palms so they are facing forward.
  5. Take a deep breath then press the one dumbbell overhead by extending the elbow and contracting the deltoid.
  6. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position and then press the other overhead by repeating step #5.
  7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Alternate Seated Dumbbell Press Tips

  1. Keep your back flat against the pad throughout the duration of the exercise.
  2. Don’t allow the head to jut forward excessively.
  3. Drive the bicep to the ear and exhale as you press.
  4. If you sense any pressure in your neck or traps during the movement, look to address a lack of thoracic spine extension or shoulder flexion.
  5. Keeping the elbows slightly bent at the top and not locking out entirely will help to keep tension on the shoulders.
  6. If you can’t lock out the elbows overhead than it may indicate a lack of shoulder mobility due to poor scapular upward rotation.
Ryan Knott
Posted on: Mon, 05/27/2013 - 05:50

Hey i'm fairly new to body building, i've tried it before but never seriously but i'm 21, 6ft 2 and a skinny lad without much strength, I got a lot of info from this site i just wanted to say thanks and also the word "Experience" has a type as you have written "Experiene" not nit picking just thought i'd let you guys know.

Great Site!

Posted on: Thu, 02/28/2013 - 14:41

nice exercise but can rather alternate can be use both together. I am able to lift heavy weight when do both together.

Posted on: Sun, 06/24/2012 - 09:14

boss u say 10 reps which i get but i dont get 1 thing do u mean 10 reps on each arm so in total count 20 reps 10 on left and 10 on right

Posted on: Sat, 08/25/2012 - 17:58

10 reps on each arm