Too much weight and too little stability are the reasons we’ve cited that increase risk of a shoulder injury. Dumbbell shoulder exercises are at the crux of these two because they incorporate weight and require you to have proper form. This is why controlling your shoulders during these exercises is key. The less random movement the better. Dumbbells also add the ability to use alternating shoulder exercises. Here are a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of injury when performing these exercises.
Tip for Proper Shoulder Workout Form
There are small tips that you can use in the gym when performing dumbbell shoulder exercises that will help reduce the risk of your injury. We’ve said that you should be mindful to have the least random movement possible. This can be vague. Let’s look at an example for how to bring this into the gym. When doing any type of shoulder press, press the weight straight up and down. You will see a lot of people in the gym touching the weights together at the top of the press. This isn’t ideal, because it’s an unnatural movement. You don’t gain anything by pushing the heavy weight together at the top of the press. Instead, push the weight straight overhead. Single-arm movements are another common shoulder exercise. There’s even more opportunity to sway your shoulders off the course. Whether alternating shoulder presses or dumbbell front raises keep the weight going straight up-and-down instead of side-to-side.
Exercise Instructions: Dumbell Shoulder Exercises
You can see a list of dumbbell shoulder exercises below. You can learn more about shoulder workouts here, or if you’d prefer to get started doing workouts right now, start your free trial on Daily Spot. You may also notice that some of these workouts involve cables. We've included cable workouts here because they work the same muscles as dumbbell workouts, but they may offer a more controlled alternative. Consult with the trainer at your gym if you have questions about your form.
Cable Reverse Fly
Stand at cable machine and grip the cable handle with the opposite arm. Keeping elbows high, extend cable handles to sides, maintaining
Dumbbell Arnold Press
Sitting on bench, hold dumbbells with your palms facing you, weights in front of face. Keep core tight and upper-body still. Press the weights above your head while rotating your palms forward. Slowly return to starting position.
Dumbbell Farmers Walk
Stand between dumbbells and lift them up by driving through your heels. Keeping your back straight and your head up, walk taking short, quick steps. Typically walk for 50-100 feet
Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Standing with feet shoulder width apart, hold DB's in front of you with palms facing each other. Raise the weights by raising your arms out to the sides, elbows bent slightly, until you reach shoulder height. Lower the weights back to starting position.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, start with the weights at shoulder height. Exhale and press the dumbbells over your head by straightening your arms. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Stand with feet shoulder width and a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended on the sides. Lift the dumbbells by raising the shoulders as high as possible.
Incline Bench Dumbbell Reverse Fly
Lay chest down on an incline bench with DBs in hands at sides. Contract your rear delts to raise DBs up laterally.
Single-Arm Cable Lateral Raise
While standing at cable machine, hold handle at your side. Without rocking your body, lift the handle by raising your arms out to the side until you reach shoulder height. Lower the weights back to starting position.
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Stand with your feet shoulder width and dumbbells at shoulder height. Exhale and press the dumbbells over your head by straightening your arms. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Standing Single-Arm Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Stand with a dumbbell in one hand, start with the weight at shoulder height. Exhale and press the dumbbell over your head by straightening your arm. Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. After set, switch arms.