The seated dumbbell press is an excellent exercise for the shoulders, especially the front. The advantage over the standing version is that you can lift a little heavier. However, make sure you don’t make any of the mistakes below.
1. CREATING TOO LITTLE STABILITY
Remember to keep your shoulder blades down and back while pressing. This is essential for the stability of the movement.
2. ARCHING YOUR BACK
Perform the exercise on a bench with a backrest. This helps you not to arch your back during the exercise. If you arch your back, it probably means that the dumbbells are too heavy for you and you should consider using lighter dumbbells.
3. EXTENDING YOUR ELBOWS TOO MUCH
Don’t let your elbows stick out all the way to the side, but bring them in slightly at an angle of about 45 degrees. This is a safer position for the shoulders.
4. PRESSING ONE ARM HIGHER THAN THE OTHER
Because most people are stronger on one side of their body than the other, some have difficulty pressing the dumbbells up symmetrically. Therefore, choose dumbbells that are light enough to complete full reps with your weaker side. Over time, your weaker side will catch up to your stronger side, allowing you to stretch both arms equally.
5. STRETCHING YOUR ELBOWS
Keep your arms slightly bent while performing this exercise. So don’t lock your elbows at the top.
6. HITTING THE DUMBBELLS TOGETHER
You see and hear some people hitting the dumbbells together at the top. However, this comes at the expense of muscle tension. Concentrate on pressing the dumbbells straight up so they don’t collide with each other.
7. NOT USING FULL RANGE OF MOTION
As you use heavier weights, you may cheat by shortening your range of motion, such as lowering the dumbbells only to eye level. This makes the exercise less effective, even though you can use a heavier weight. Lower until the dumbbells are level with the bottom of your ears.
Use weights that allow you to complete full reps and add weight incrementally (progressive overload). In short, don’t rush the process at the expense of your technique.