Dumbbell Cuban Press

Dumbbell Cuban Press

The Dumbbell Cuban Press is a dynamic and challenging exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in the upper body. It is a variation of the traditional shoulder press and is highly effective for improving shoulder stability, strength, and mobility. This exercise primarily targets the deltoids (shoulder muscles) while also engaging the triceps, upper back, and core muscles. To perform the Dumbbell Cuban Press, you will need a pair of dumbbells. Start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart and holding the dumbbells at your sides, palms facing your thighs. Keeping your chest lifted and core engaged, begin the movement by bending your elbows and raising the dumbbells to shoulder level, so your arms are parallel to the ground. Next, rotate your palms to face forward, as if you were holding a tray, and bring the dumbbells closer together until they almost touch. From this position, press the dumbbells overhead, fully extending your arms while keeping your core tight. Pause briefly at the top before slowly reversing the movement by lowering the dumbbells back to shoulder level and then returning to the starting position with your palms facing your thighs. The Dumbbell Cuban Press is an excellent exercise for individuals looking to enhance their upper body strength and shoulder stability. As always, ensure proper form and technique to prevent injury. Start with light weights and gradually increase the resistance as you become more comfortable with the exercise. Incorporate this exercise into your upper body routine for improved shoulder strength and overall upper body muscular development.


  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip.
  • Bring the dumbbells up to your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body.
  • Slowly externally rotate your shoulders by lifting the dumbbells out to the sides until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause for a brief moment, then internally rotate your shoulders by bringing the dumbbells forward and down until they are in line with your thighs.
  • Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions, maintaining control of the dumbbells throughout the movement.

Tips & Tricks

  • Start with lighter dumbbells to perfect your technique before increasing the weight.
  • Maintain proper form throughout the exercise by engaging your core and keeping your spine neutral.
  • Focus on the movement of your shoulders and upper back rather than relying solely on your arms.
  • Control the descent of the dumbbells to maximize muscle activation and prevent injury.
  • Inhale as you lower the dumbbells and exhale as you press them overhead for better breathing and stability.
  • Gradually increase the weight to challenge your muscles and promote strength gains.
  • Consult with a fitness professional to ensure you're using the correct technique and starting with an appropriate weight.
  • Incorporate the dumbbell Cuban press into a well-rounded upper body workout routine.
  • Consider performing this exercise as part of a dynamic warm-up to activate your upper body muscles.
  • Perform the exercise in front of a mirror to monitor your form and make necessary adjustments.


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