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Single Dumbbell Press


The single dumbbell press is a strength training exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the upper chest, shoulders, and triceps. To execute this exercise, an individual commences by assuming a supine position on a bench with a dumbbell grasped in one hand. While ensuring that the feet remain firmly planted on the ground and the core is engaged, the individual then proceeds to vertically elevate the dumbbell, fully extending the arm while simultaneously ensuring that the opposite arm remains stationary or positioned on the body to provide stability. When returning the dumbbell to the initial position, caution is exercised to maintain control and prevent abrupt drops. This unilateral movement not only facilitates the development of muscle mass and strength but also assists in identifying and rectifying any imbalances between the left and right sides of the upper body.


  1. From the seated position, grab onto both dumbbells
  2. Breathe in as you lower the dumbells to eye level
  3. It’s essential to make sure that your arms bend to a 90-degree angle
  4. Hold the dumbells at 90 degrees for half a second
  5. Breathe out and extend your arms back up
  6. Repeat

Range of Motion for Single Dumbbell Press

For optimal muscle activation in the single dumbbell press, it’s essential to bring the bar to eye level. While primarily engaging the target muscle, this technique also promotes growth in secondary and tertiary muscles over time. The precise movement not only enhances the workout efficiency but also aids in achieving a well-rounded muscular development. This eye-level bar position helps ensure the correct form, making the exercise more effective and potentially reducing the risk of injury.

Benefits of Single Dumbbell Press

The single dumbbell press confers a plethora of advantages that augment both strength and muscle equilibrium. One primary benefit is the activation of stabilizing muscles. Given that the exercise is unilateral, performed with one arm at a time, the core and surrounding muscles exert themselves to maintain balance and stability during the press. This engagement of the stabilizing muscles not only fortifies the core but also enhances overall body coordination and balance. Furthermore, by isolating one arm, it enables a greater range of motion, ensuring that the chest and shoulder muscles are fully stimulated, leading to more efficacious muscle growth.

Another significant advantage of the single dumbbell press is its capacity to identify and rectify muscular imbalances between the left and right sides of the upper body. Frequently, when employing barbells or machines, the dominant side can compensate excessively for the weaker side, resulting in imbalances that may go unnoticed. By working one side at a time, it becomes easier to pinpoint strength discrepancies between the arms. Over time, consistent training with single dumbbell presses can help equalize the strength and development of both sides, reducing the risk of injuries and promoting symmetrical muscle growth.


Single Dumbbell Press Example

Muscle Targets

  • Shoulders Primary
  • Chest Secondary
  • Triceps Secondary

Muscle Anatomy

Front Back
Muscle Click active muscles for description.

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