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Shoulder Press

Why is a shoulder press better done with dumbbells than with a barbell

dumbbell press exercises


How often do you do an army press? Perhaps you like to do a shoulder press using Smith’s machine? Would you like to maximize your shoulders? Using dumbbells, you will more stimulate the muscles on the shoulders!

For the study, 6 experienced athletes were recruited, who were forced to perform 3 versions of a bench press, consisting of 10 repetitions. Sensors were attached to the upper thoracic, front, middle and rear deltas, upper and middle trapezium, triceps and small round.

The starting position was the same for all three options, i.e. the elbows are down, in the arms of the dumbbell.


  • The first option was that the men raised their arms above their heads to an angle of 90 ° at the elbows, i.e. such a simulation of the amplitude of the lifting bar.
  • In the second version, men raised their arms above their heads at an angle of 135 °.
  • In the third option, the men fully extended their arms over their heads, i.e. 180 °.

In short, the second option was better than the first, and the third is better than the second. This applied to absolutely all measured muscles. Thus, the higher the men raised their arms, unbending them completely, the higher the muscle activity.

By the way, the upper trapezoid and deltas received almost the same load. Researchers concluded that using full amplitude in this case has a better effect on muscles, which is unlikely to be possible using a barbell.



  • the press above the head, which supposedly on the shoulders, acts exactly on the top of the trapeze, as well as on the deltas;
  • The dumbbell press above the head is better than the barbell press above the head, due to the ability to use a large range of motion.

Have a good workout!

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