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How Low on DB Shoulder Press


How low should I bring the dumbbells down on a seated shoulder press rep? I've tried bringing it right down to shoulder height (with a lower weight), and I've tried going just to parallel with the floor upper arms (with a higher weight), and I'm unsure which is the most beneficial for hypertrophy... anyone help?


full range of motion every time. more time under tension that way. also better for shoulder health. press from arms parallel is more for triceps than shoulders as in the simmons rack press that power lifters use for increasing tricep strength


So, down to shoulder level every time? And 'failure' being the inability to lift having gone down this low? Thought as much- when I've been going low, despite the decreased weight, I've felt like the shoulders have had more of a workout.


I actually sort of go in between what you said. When I do barbell overhead press i bring the barbell down to around my mouth/chin. Kind of the same with the dumbbells, pretty much only feel it in my shoulders so I feel it works right. That going to parallel ROM is probably what 80% of my gym does who actually do that exercise.


I disagree. The shoulder is a complex joint(s) and some people have different structural formations than others. From a safety standpoint, I suggest going to where your upper arm is parallel to the floor, basically elbow in line with shoulder at the bottom position.

Now some people can get away with going lower and that's fine, you have to figure that out for yourself, but to give a blanket statement for everyone across the board is not right IMO.


Ears/chin level generally works for most people. Pretend the dumbbells are connected by a bar through their center and bring that down to about chin kevel or so (without raising up your up chin). You can read more about this on a thread that was where to bring the Military Press down to. You can go lower if you don't alter your form.


For muscle growth the most effective range of motion is the one that keeps your shoulders under tension. So as long as your delts(not triceps or traps) are doing most of the work - you're good. As was stated above most people should not completely lower the weight. Whether to lock your elbows out completely at the top is also something you should figure out for yourself, as the tension usually shifts to the triceps at the point of full lock out.


I bring the bar of the dumbell to ear-level, which is roughly arms parallel to the ground.

It's a triceps exercice only if you "just move the damn weight". For DB shoulder press to become a good shoulder exercice, you have to focus on moving the weigth with your trunk and use the triceps only for stabilization.

Complete your shoulder routine with lateral raise (the "lean-away" type).

I alternate between standing standard military presses, push presses and seated DB shoulder presses every month ± lateral raise.


Do DB shoulder flies as well.........works the delts with no tricep involvement. A well know WSM competitor uses this in his routine. I'll try to find a link.


bottom of DB to bottom of ear. Thats how I do em.


those with the bench at 90 degrees (vertical)? or back down from that?


its a vertical bench but I kinda of have my own feel for how I sit in the sum bitch. Its difficult for me to express in written word. I'm not leaning on a radius but I'm not vertical thats fo sure.



save your shoulders


Do you mean these


Bad animation, but I've seen those performed once at my gym and by some bodybuilder, perhaps the one you are referring to, looks intereting.


I do full range and works well for me, just have to strech the shoulders thoroughly afterwards


i come down til the db's make contact my with delts.


by limiting ROM i'd say it would cause shoulder injury in the long run.


When I do DB shoulder press, I look to keep my delts under constant tension. I achieve this by lowering the DB to my delts, not my chest, my delts, essentially my head is exactly in between the DB's while they're fully lowered.