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


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Seated Cuban Press Overview

The seated Cuban press is a unique shoulder builder that involves both externally rotating the shoulder and pressing the weight overhead.

Be prepared to be humbled when performing the seated Cuban press. You won’t be able to perform these with a lot of weight. However, they are an excellent exercise to include in your shoulder workouts to not only build the shoulder muscles, but also potentially prevent them from injury in a prehab fashion.

Seated Cuban 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. Take a deep breath and pull the dumbbells up the front of the body with an upright row.
  4. Once the dumbbells reach chest height, externally rotate the hands until your palms are facing forward.
  5. Press the dumbbells overhead by extending the elbows and contracting the deltoids.
  6. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position and reverse the movement by internally rotating the arms until the dumbbells are back to chest height, then allow the dumbbells to descend in front of the body back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Seated Cuban 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.