Cuban press

The Cuban press is an exercise that targets the muscles of the shoulders, rotator cuff, and upper back. It combines a shoulder external rotation with a dumbbell press, training multiple muscles and motions in a single sequence. It can be performed standing, or as a more difficult variation face-down on an incline bench. It is usually performed with relatively light weight as part of a dynamic warm-up for upper-body lifting.


  1. Activates and strengthens rotator cuff and shoulder stabilizer muscles
  2. Great warm-up for benching or heavier shoulder presses
  3. Can add size and definition to shoulders

Cuban press Images


Cuban press Instructions

Cuban press muscle diagram
  1. Take a dumbbell in each hand with a pronated grip in a standing position. Raise your upper arms so that they are parallel to the floor, allowing your lower arms to hang in the "scarecrow" position. This will be your starting position.
  2. To initiate the movement, externally rotate the shoulders to move the upper arm 180 degrees. Keep the upper arms in place, rotating the upper arms until the wrists are directly above the elbows, the forearms perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Now press the dumbbells by extending at the elbows, straightening your arms overhead.
  4. Return to the starting position as you breathe in by reversing the steps.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variation: You can also use a barbell.