you want wider shoulders, you've
gotta work your side delts.
the staple exercises like barbell
and dumbell shoulder press only
work the medial delts to a limited
degree...they tend to put a lot
of focus on the front delts.
got a version of the dumbell shoulder
press that's going to change that...
going to not only focus the tension
on the side delts, it's also going
to focus the tension better
on the delts just in general by
minimizing tricep involvement.
it's all in how you hold the dumbell...
see, one interesting thing I've
found with training in general is
that an open hand position when
pressing increases muscle activation
in the target muscles.
believe it's one of the reasons
that bodyweight exercises like push-ups
(which use an open hand) give better
muscle activation than versions
where your hand is gripping on something
(which I find tends to shift focus
to the triceps somewhat).
Now, I don't know if it's because
of the greater contact with the
surface of the palm or the wrist
position/angle or what the reason....there
could be several different explanations.
the reason, now we're going to apply
that open-hand concept to free weight
training with this method.
How To Do It:
I'm going to show you what the hand
position looks like, then I'm going
to tell you how to get the dumbell
into position in the easiest fashion.
here's what it looks like in the
picture below. As you can see, the
dumbell is vertical and resting
on my upper arm at the bottom. My
hand is rotated around so my fingers
are pointing in towards my head
and my palm in on the underside
of the dumbell plates. I have my
my thumb hooked around the handle
to keep it solidly gripped.
open-hand position is totally what
we're looking for in the exercise.
Also, because the bottom dumbell
plates are braced against your forearm,
it allows for a unique bit of additional
resistance at the top, as you straighten
your elbow and push the plates up
at and angle due to the leverage
of the dumbell against your arm
(easier to see than explain - you'll
see it below).
here's how to get it into position.
set the dumbell on the floor in
front of you, handle perpendicular
to your body. I'll do a faraway
shot and a closer-up shot to make
it easier to see.
how my thumb and forefinger are
spread apart...you're going to be
gripping your thumb around the handle
grip the handle and set your palm
flat against the underside of the
grip the handle with your other
hand - you'll be using help to get
the dumbell up into position.
use both hands to lift the dumbell
up to your shoulder.
your other hand off, making sure
your thumb is hooked around the
handle then you're ready to start.
press up, just like you would a
normal standing dumbell shoulder
you'll see in this pic below, as
I extend my elbow, the act of straightening
it leverages the dumbell to an angle.
And because it's a weight, you actually
get resistance in that small angled-lockout
movement which puts even more tension
on the lateral delt.
all your reps on side (about 6 to
10 reps is good) then grab the dumbell
handle with your other hand again
and bring the dumbell back down
to the floor. Regrip with the other
hand and repeat.
of the other bonuses with this exercise
is the core work. Because you're
only pressing with one arm, it places
great stabilizing requirements on
the core muscles.
will notice that range of motion
is shorter with this exercise than
with regular shoulder presses. And
the heavier you go, the shorter
the range gets because of the number
of dumbell plates.
is something you could fix if you
have adjustable dumbells, loading
more on the top end and less on
the bottom end. Generally speaking,
though, it won't be much of an issue.
you're tired of normal dumbell presses,
this is definitely one you'll want
to try, for a change of pace and
to really target the medial delts
(a.k.a. side delts, a.k.a. lateral
delts) in a unique fashion.