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


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Standing Neutral Grip Alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Press Overview

The standing neutral grip alternating dumbbell shoulder press is a variation of the standing dumbbell shoulder press and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the shoulders.

The neutral grip used in the exercise can be especially helpful for those who experience shoulder and elbow pain in other variations.

Alternating reps will provide a core and shoulder stability challenge while you fight to maintain proper spinal alignment and keep the weight in a pressing position.

This exercise can be incorporated into your shoulder workouts, upper body workouts, push workouts, or full body workouts.

Standing Neutral Grip Alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Press Instructions

  1. Assume a standing position with your spine neutral, ribcage down, and head looking straight ahead.
  2. Curl the dumbbells into position on your shoulders and ensure your spine remains in a neutral position by bracing your core. (Note: as the weight gets heavier you may have to utilize more of a clean motion to get them into place or allow a spotter to help)
  3. Maintain a neutral grip, take a deep breath, and press one dumbbell overhead by extending the elbow and contracting the deltoid.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position (the arms should be roughly 90 degrees or slightly lower depending upon limb lengths) and repeat with the opposite side.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Standing Neutral Grip Alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Press Tips

  1. Don’t allow the head to jut forward excessively.
  2. Drive the bicep to the ear and exhale as you press.
  3. 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.
  4. Keeping the elbows slightly bent at the top and not locking out entirely will help to keep tension on the shoulders.
  5. If you can’t lock out the elbows overhead than it may indicate a lack of shoulder mobility due to poor scapular upward rotation.