This month’s fitness challenge will strengthen your shoulders while engaging your core for stability. The dumbbell overhead press is effective and an easily modified exercise which makes it fantastic whether you’re new to lifting or live in the weight room.

 

Using dumbbells enables you to control how much weight you lift, and you can either sit or stand to perform the movement. A sitting position stabilizes the back, while a dumbbell overhead press in a standing position works a larger number of muscles. Not only is the position and the amount of weight easy to modify, you can alternate arms to press one up then the other, instead of both arms at once.

 

How to do it:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, back straight, core engaged and a micro bend in the knee to keep them soft.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, just outside the shoulders with palms facing forward, elbows pointing down. Thumbs should be on the inside and knuckles facing up.
  3. Push the weights directly above the head (not forward), so wrists stack directly over shoulders and biceps next to ears. Try not to slam the arms upward which will cause stress on the elbow joint.
  4. Slowly return dumbbells to the shoulders.