T Nation

Dumbbells into Position for OHP


Anyone have any ideas on getting heavy dumbbells into position for OHP. I do them standing, similar to the bar version, but just with dumbbells instead. I rest the dumbbells on my bench but have trouble wacking my elbows back to get them into position and it doesn't seem good for the elbows to be doing that.

I know some will say, just use a bar and a rack. I have a bar and a rack, but for some reason i get pain during OHP, so i go for dumbbells, the neutral grip seems to have a better effect.



Hang clean them up.


Standing? Power clean them. Shouldn't be too hard to power clean weights that you can press over your head for reps.

Is there a reason you do them standing? It's one thing with a bar, but using dumbbells involves enough balancing as it is so a lot of people find it better to do them seated. And increase their poundages instantly. You're training shoulders after all.

edit: saw the reply after I posted


I have never done this but you could get set up like you are going to do a seated DB press kick the dumbbells up with your knees getting them into position and then just stand up and proceed to do your set.


I had the same problem, ended up tearing rotator.

Suggestions - go 1-arm at a time, use other to aid

I invested in a set of power hooks (google) as I work out alone at home. Use them all the time.



I think the OP should just stay seated, but this is by far the easiest way i've found to do them standing.


I've got a couple injuries that prevent me from kicking them up and doing them seated. I'm confined to doing them standing, 1 arm at a time. Try this out. It still hits my shoulders and gives my core a little extra workout. You can use both arms to position the DB so setup is very easy.


Thanks for the replies, i had a similar idea with the power hooks, but where i workout at home i would need a space where i can hang them around my height.

Into a seated dumbbell press then standing up is a good idea, will give that a go.

One arm at a time is also a possibility, but i prefer to do them together, either way i could try it out, cheers.

Also, how bad is it to go til the dumbbells touch the shoulders, i know some people say to stop when your elbows are 90 degrees, but im using a neutral grip and my elbows aren't out to the sides anyway, it just feels awkward stopping halfway and feels more like a partial rep, thoughts?


I'll second the 'power clean' em up there advice.

I just do mine seated but to each his own.


I bought the power hooks and I don't like them at all.


For some reason, I just keep picturing the Texas Chainsaw Massacre when I read "power hooks."


Why don't you just use a barbell?


From his original post:

"I know some will say, just use a bar and a rack. I have a bar and a rack, but for some reason i get pain during OHP, so i go for dumbbells, the neutral grip seems to have a better effect. "

Unless he gets a fancy bar with a neutral grip. I'm pretty sure they make those.

In my case, it's the herniated discs in my lower back. Anything over 135 will cause them to spasm for a couple days.




What's really helped me with pain is a tip CT dropped in one of his vids. Use a fat bar, or get a pair of fat gripz for OHP. For some reason it feels a lot better on my shoulders and I feel the movement more in my triceps.


Thanks for the replies, could try a fat grip. The problem is, i use a standard bar for lifts at home, when i went to a gym to use an oly bar, the OHP pain wasn't too noticeable, yet at home with the standard bar it hurts, no idea why, but if dumbbells don't cause the pain, then im better off doing them than not doing them at all.