Seated Dumbbell Press Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Dumbbell
  • Compound
  • Push
  • Beginner
  • Triceps
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Shoulders Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. The seated dumbbell press is one of the most popular mass builders for the shoulders! Set up for the exercise by getting an adjustable angle bench and setting the back to 90 degrees. 
  2. Grasp a pair of dumbbells and sit down on the bench with the ends of the dumbbells on your thighs.
  3. Raise the dumbbells above your head and twist so that your palms are facing forward. Your back should be flat against the back rest and your feet firmly planted on the floor for stability. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  4. Keeping your eyes facing forwards, slowly lower the dumbbells to the sides of your shoulders.
  5. Once they are around shoulder height, contract the shoulder muscles and raise the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  6. Do not pause at the top of the movement, and immediately begin lowering the dumbbells back down for the next rep.
  7. Repeat for desired reps.

​Dumbbell Press Tips:

  1. The seated dumbbell press is a solid mass building compound movement that can add serious mass when using heavy weights WITH correct form. Many lifters let the form go and add weight too quickly. This will at times result in an injury and could hinder your shoulder gains.
  2. Always use the longest range of motion possible and control the dumbbells throughout the set.
  3. This exercise can be performed while sitting on the end of a flat bench, but a back rest is preferred - especially for those with lower back problems.

19 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 01/30/2015 - 20:06

I started two weeks ago lost 9 pounds, And all in the right places, I like it. I love it , I wont some more of it,

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Posted Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:31
Aunty Zen

@ Taylor - you need to loosen your tie a little.

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Posted Mon, 04/07/2014 - 22:52

Ok so i was wondering if you had to do all these workouts on Monday, Tuesday and Friday can you do it on different days of the week?

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Posted Mon, 03/03/2014 - 07:46

If you can't control the movement 100% lower the weight until you can. No sense in lifting heavy with incorrect form. You'll just end up hurting yourself.

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Posted Wed, 01/15/2014 - 18:31

For some reason I feel a lot of tension in the back of my neck where it connects to my skull during this excersize. Am I doing something wrong?

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Posted Tue, 12/17/2013 - 07:48

very intense! should this work traps/biceps/triceps? I do feel it my shoulders only but very strong! :)

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Posted Mon, 07/01/2013 - 07:26

I`m 15 years old,so is it advisable for me to follow this workout?what should i do,i really need to broaden my shoulders.

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Posted Fri, 03/29/2013 - 02:08
Adam Haze

I want to start doing this, but the problem is my shoulders are not very flexible at all. Even naturally, without holding any weight, my shoulder sort of hurt when I do this motion because they feel like they're being spread open too far. Can I do this exercise but with my arm points a little bit more toward the wall in front of me??

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Posted Wed, 02/13/2013 - 19:21

aint nothing like a peanut buddy

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Posted Fri, 01/04/2013 - 03:45
Pete Nixon

Damnit! I pulled my left forearm by increasing weight too quickly and letting my form get sloppy. Any advice on how long/what I can do to rest a pulled left forearm? I think my hands bent too far back as I was lifting. Any advice too on correct wrist posture When lifting? are wrist suppoets necessary for an amateur on lifting 12/14kg dumbells? Thanks as always for great site.

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Posted Wed, 05/08/2013 - 10:09
Cameron D

Worst thing you can do is lift too much too fast, make sure your body and arms can maintain the weights properly, you've probably healed but if it happens again, heat should help relax the muscle, DO NOT use cold or iceyhot type stuff, that will make your injury worse. If your weights feel to heavy move down a peg, if you want to lift heavy weights and are able to at short reps, use light weights and do warm up sets, enough to get your body prepared for the motion, but not enough to wear you out too much.

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Posted Thu, 01/03/2013 - 08:26

Should my elbows be pointed out to the sides while doing this?

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Posted Fri, 12/07/2012 - 10:38

i am doing dough's 5 day workout and i like to know what pounds to use for the dumbbell press. my current weight is 174 and height is 5'6"
thank you

Joey's picture
Posted Fri, 12/07/2012 - 11:37

The idea is to use a weight where you struggle to complete the recommended rep range. Once your'e able to complete all the reps prescribed, it's time to move up in weight.

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Posted Tue, 11/27/2012 - 22:26

How long should I wait in between sets?

mnsjason's picture
Posted Thu, 11/29/2012 - 19:32

It depends on your rep range for each set. If you're lifting heavy and keeping in the 3-5 rep range, 2-5 minutes is a good rest period. If you're lifting in the 8-12 range, 90 to 120 seconds is appropriate.

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Posted Fri, 10/28/2016 - 05:16


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Posted Thu, 09/06/2012 - 06:56

works fo me AS WELL REAL GAINS

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Posted Tue, 08/21/2012 - 20:59

I am working shoulders tomorrow and I am adding this one to the mix!