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Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press Superset With Dumbbell Bent Over Laterals

This superset is one of my shoulder routine staples. I love performing this superset because it hits all the areas of the shoulders and really fills the entire area up with blood. The first exercise (dumbbell shoulder press) is a compound exercise that uses a system of muscles to lift the weight. The movement uses the front and lateral shoulders and triceps (back of the upper arms) while the bent over dumbbell laterals hits the rear shoulder and upper back. The net effect is a higher volume of muscular contractions in those areas for one “superset” exercise which means more development in less time.

For this exercise, you may need two sets of dumbbells. You will naturally be stronger for the standing dumbbell shoulder press than the bent over dumbbell lateral. I suggest using slightly heavier weights for the dumbbell press.

If you don't know what a superset is, please see my page called "what is a superset".

Superset Exercise #1 - Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Position for the standing dumbbell shoulder press exercise

Grab a pair of dumbbells (in each hand) and turn them so that your palms are facing each other. Retract your shoulder blades (using your back muscles to pull your shoulders back and down), puff your chest out. Make sure your back is straight and your head level. Your feet should be at shoulder width apart. Your head should be level and eyes forward. Curl the weight up and turn your palms forward.

Execution of the standing dumbbell shoulder press exercise

Slowly press the dumbbells upwards using your arms and shoulders. Press until your arms are just shy of being fully extended. Stop for a brief paus and slowly lower the weight back down to the start position. Repeat this movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Once you’ve completed the prescribed repetitions for the standing dumbbell shoulder press exercise, immediately move onto the dumbbell bent over lateral exercise.

Superset Exercise #2 - Dumbbell Bent Over Laterals

Position for the dumbbell bent over lateral exercise

Stand straight and erect. Keep your shoulder blades retracted and your chest puffed out proud. Your back should be straight, head level and eyes forward. The dumbbells should be at your sides. Turn the dumbbells so that your palms are facing each other. Slowly bend at the waist until your upper body is just shy of being parallel to the floor. Slightly bend your knees. Your arms should be slightly bent. Keep your head level and eyes forward.

Execution of the dumbbell bent over lateral exercise

Slowly raise your arms using only your rear shoulders to move the weight. Raise the weight until your arms are even with your upper back, pause for a moment and slowly lower the dumbbell back to the start position. Don’t use your upper back to shrug the weight – Keep your shoulder blades retracted and make sure you keep them in this position for the duration of the movement.

Repeat this movement for the desired amount of repetitions.  


Standing dumbbell shoulder press: Breathe in as you press the weight up and breathe out as you lower the weight back to the start position
Bent over dumbbell  laterals: Breathe in as you lower the dumbbells and breath out as raise your arms back to the starting position.

Important points.

·         This is a superset exercise so no resting once your completed the first exercise (dumbbell hammer curls) – immediately perform the second superset (triceps kickbacks).

·         Do not look down! Looking down will cause you to round your upper back and throw your shoulder girdle out of position. Keep looking straight ahead.

·         Keep your shoulder blades in a retracted position for the duration of both movements

·         You may need to use lighter dumbbells for the bent over lateral exercise

·         Do not jerk the weight upwards, use a nice fluid motion

Video for the standing dumbbell shoulder press / bent over dumbbell lateral superset

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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