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


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Half Kneeling Dumbbell Press Overview

The half kneeling dumbbell press is a variation of the standing dumbbell press and an exercise used to target the muscles of the shoulders.

The half kneeling dumbbell press is a regression from the standing dumbbell press and can be used to help build the prerequisite shoulder strength and stability to perform the standing variation.

Half Kneeling Dumbbell Press Instructions

  1. Assume a half kneeling position with the knee under your hip, toes tucked, and ribcage down.
  2. Curl the dumbbells into position on your shoulders and ensure your spine is still braced in a neutral position.
  3. Once the dumbbells are in place, rotate your palms so they are facing forward.
  4. Take a deep breath then press the dumbbells overhead by extending the elbows and contracting the deltoids.
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position (the arms should be roughly 90 degrees or slightly lower depending upon limb lengths).
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Half Kneeling Dumbbell 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.