T Nation

overhead dumbell presses

Hi guys, just a really quick question:
when you do overhead dumbell presses, how low do you lower the weights? Below “parallel”, or pararrel?
What is the diference, is one more efficient than the other?
I see people in the gym doing both, so I am a bit confused.

Thank you

It’s alot safer to lower the weight below parallel with dumbells, as they put alot less strain on the shoulder joint than does a barbell. If one chooses to use a barbell, I would definately lower the weight in front of my face, not behind my neck. Having said that, I think the Arnold Shoulder Press is one of the best shoulder exercises out there.

In my experiences i have found that going parallel worked fine and didnt put any extra stress on my rotator cuffs, which i know can happen and did to my football coach from going below parallel. I would say do what is comfortable for you, but your shoulders will still get a good workout from only going parallel.

I lower them until the plates touch my shoulders. That’s low enough for me.

I’m curious as to why you let your forearms drift so far medially that the 'bells are coming in contact with your shoulders at the bottom of the movement.

Usually my shoulder fits into the space between the plates, where your hand goes, but sometimes the rear plate (whatever you call it) touches my shoulder. It’s just where my groove is.

Drax is probably using like 150 lbs. dumbbells since he is such a huge stud.

I misinterpreted the movement you were doing…thanks for clarifying. I thought you were speaking of something akin to a seated shoulder dumbell press.

I think the best results are obtained with
the hands lowered to the level of the upper chest.

When you go lower than parallel, you begin to incorporate different muscle groups (i.e: biceps, brachialis, forearms, etc.) because you only really isolate your shoulders when you work from parallel up. Also, going lower than parallel puts more strain on the ligaments and tendons in your shoulder joint, which could hurt you down the road.

i agree with andy on this one… i do extremely heavy dumbell presses. i can do 6 reps of 100 lb dumbells with good form. when the bar of the dumbell is at ear level, then i press. i love arnold presses, but that’s a whole other beast. usually, 65-70 is all i can do there. i usually do one or the other. during bulking periods, i like to do 3 heavy sets of presses, followed by 2 sets of arnolds for about 10 reps.

lower 'em to your feet! that ought to get 'em all pumped up and stretched out. :o) kevo