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Dumbbell High Squat and Twist Press

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

A twist press adds a turning motion to a shoulder press, meaning that you'll use the complex of muscles across the back of your shoulders as well as the tops. By doing the press at the end of a squat, you'll develop power and reach through your legs as well.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
Stand in a "power position" with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hips pressed slightly back behind you. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders, with your elbows bent and palms facing in toward each other (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, sit into a deep squat: Bend your knees and press your hips further back and down, keeping your weight in your heels and your back flat. Push your chest out very slightly in front of you to counterbalance the weight on your heels (see Photo 2).
  2. When you have reached the depth of the squat, reverse motion and drive up through your heels. As you push out of the squat, turn your shoulders ninety degrees to the right, allowing your feet to pivot as needed to allow your upper body to turn. As you turn, bring your hands straight up overhead in a neutral shoulder press, keeping your palms facing inward and elbows by your ears. This should be a single fluid movement (see Photo 3).
  3. From the top of the shoulder press, bring your hands back to their original position at your shoulders as you allow your upper body to turn back to a forward facing position (see Photo 4). Immediately sit back into another squat, and repeat the twist and shoulder press, this time to the left. Continue to alternate sides throughout the set (see Photos 5 to 7).
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.