Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Alternating Standing Dumbbell Press Overview

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

The overhead press is a foundational movement for establishing baseline strength and building a completely balanced physique.

Utilizing dumbbells as opposed to performing with a barbell will allow the individual to strengthen each side of the muscle equally.

The exercise can be included in shoulder workouts, push workouts, upper body workouts, and full body workouts.

Alternating Standing Dumbbell Press Instructions

  2. Set up for the exercise by grabbing a pair of dumbbells and standing up with your feet around shoulder width apart.
  3. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height on each side and rotate your palms so they are facing forward. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  4. Take a deep breath then press one dumbbell overhead by extending the elbows and contracting the deltoids.
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position (your arm should be roughly 90 degrees or slightly lower depending upon limb lengths).
  6. Immediately repeat this movement with your opposite arm and then repeat for desired reps.

Alternating Standing Dumbbell Press Tips

  • Drive the bicep to the ear and exhale as you press.
  • 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.
  • Keeping the elbows slightly bent at the top and not locking out entirely will help to keep tension on the shoulders.
  • If you can’t lock out the elbows overhead then it may indicate a lack of shoulder mobility due to poor scapular upward rotation.
Daniel Taylor
Posted on: Mon, 04/28/2014 - 00:32

Depends on you goals. Look up rep ranges, e.g. 1-5 for strength training. Then just perform however many you need for each arm.

Mohammed rubaiaan
Posted on: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 16:00

i am on this program that requires me to do 10 reps of this exercise do i cant for each arms or do i cant for both as one. example: i lift up the RIGHT dumbbell and count 1 then lower it then i lift the LEFT dumbbell and count 2??? or should i count 1 then lift right and count 2. so by this i mean does each arm has to do 10 or both of them combined = 10 ????????

Sophia Sarath
Posted on: Tue, 05/12/2015 - 04:56

I'd count to 10 for each arm so a total of 20 altogether, post back, let me know how you find it, hope you find those elusive gains at the end of the painbow!