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


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Seated Neutral Grip Dumbbell Shoulder Press Overview

The seated dumbbell neutral grip shoulder press is a variation of the seated dumbbell shoulder press and is 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. Using a neutral grip can be beneficial to alleviate shoulder and elbow pain many experience while pressing.

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

Seated Neutral Grip Dumbbell Shoulder 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. Using a safe and controlled motion, kick your knees up one at a time in order to get each dumbbell into place.
  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. Maintain a neutral grip throughout the duration of the exercise and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Seated Neutral Grip Dumbbell Shoulder 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.
Posted on: Wed, 10/12/2022 - 20:38

I am not sure why but I feel it more in my traps . I also have trouble keep my back straight to the chair. Should I use a smaller weight? I am using 15 pound dumbbells at the moment.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 10/14/2022 - 09:43

Yes, you should drop down to something like 10's and try to master form. Then, go back up to the 15's.

Posted on: Wed, 01/09/2013 - 22:26

Real good for the lateral (side) deltoids. It is almost impossible to lock out after the first reps and that helps keep the tension on the deltoids. I used it in my very late 50s to increase my shoulder width and mass. There is a continual tension also on the biceps, especially in the lower part of the movement. Use this, the regular seated press, various curls, and triceps exercises to get my arms to 18.6 inches at 59 years of age.