Single-arm palm-in dumbbell shoulder press

The single-arm palm-in dumbbell shoulder press builds the shoulder muscles but with two major differences from the standard dumbbell shoulder press. It's done one arm at a time and the wrist stays neutral throughout the movement. It can be performed standing or seated. A single dumbbell press can be pursued as a strength goal, or trained in traditional muscle-building rep ranges such as 8-15 reps per set or more.


  1. Allows for greater focus on one shoulder at a time
  2. Forces the core to stabilize an uneven load
  3. A neutral grip may be easier on the shoulder joint than a palms-forward grip

Single-arm palm-in dumbbell shoulder press Images


Single-arm palm-in dumbbell shoulder press Instructions

Single-arm palm-in dumbbell shoulder press muscle diagram
  1. Start by having a dumbbell in one hand with your arm fully extended to the side using a neutral grip. Use your other arm to hold on to an incline bench to keep your balance.
  2. Your feet should be shoulder width apart from each other. Now slowly lift the dumbbell up until you create a 90 degree angle with your arm. Note: Your forearm should be perpendicular to the floor. Continue to maintain a neutral grip throughout the entire exercise.
  3. Slowly lift the dumbbell up until your arm is fully extended. This the starting position.
  4. While inhaling lower the weight down until your arm is at a 90 degree angle again.
  5. Feel the contraction for a second and then lift the weight back up towards the starting position while exhaling. Remember to hold on to the incline bench and keep your feet positioned to keep balance during the exercise.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  7. Switch arms and repeat the exercise.

Variation: This exercise can be performed with dumbbells in each arm as the dumbbells will help to keep you balanced. This is another great way to add variety to your routines and keep them interesting.