This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
This exercise is great for strengthening the entire shoulder complex. That said, it is an intense exercise, particularly for the smaller and weaker muscles in the shoulder. Wobbling risks injury as your muscles struggle to maintain the weights, so this should only be done with an amount of weight that you can really control, and not at all if you have shoulder pain or injuries.
Take a dumbbell in each hand and stand upright with your feet roughly hip-width apart. Keeping the weights near your body as you maneuver them, bring both hands just above your shoulders, with palms facing forward. Your elbows will be bent to the sides and down, so that, as nearly as possible, you have a vertical line from your elbows through your shoulders to your hands (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, press your right hand straight up toward the ceiling, using your shoulder muscles to push the weight upward, until you reach full flexion with your arm nearly vertical above your head (see Photos 2 and 3).
- From the fully flexed position, lower your arm back to the starting position, resisting the downward motion throughout, and being careful to bring your hand down in a fairly straight line—try not to swing your hand wide (see Photo 4).
- Again from the starting position, repeat the dumbbell press with your left arm, while your right arm waits in the starting position (see Photo 5).
- Continue to alternate throughout the set.