dumbbell shoulder press

June 28, 2019

Countless times at Energy Fitness in Memphis our personal trainers have heard clients or prospective clients say “I want toned arms or I want sculpted shoulders”. With the Memphis heat or anywhere it gets pretty hot and humid having less clothing around the armpits can be appealing to avoid embarrassing arm pit sweat marks.

Here’s three shoulder exercises of different levels that you can start with a program or add
your existing program.

Shoulders respond very quickly to weight/resistance training and can be motivating to continue.  Aim for 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps for dumbbell exercises pictured and mix it up sometimes with heavier weights with 4-8 reps (with good form only). For the shoulder push ups go for as many as you can. We usually have our clients try for 10-25 reps.

If you have frozen shoulder or rotator cuff issues you may consider physical therapy or different exercises to increase your range of motion before starting these. Massage therapy may even be an option for helping your shoulder issues.

TIP: A word about your pelvis! If you have a tendency to have a big arch in your lower back we suggest you perform the shoulder press and t-rotation exercises sitting with either your feet out far in front of you or place your legs on the bench or floor straight out to get the curve / anterior tilt out of your pelvis.

Shoulder Push Ups Level 1

This is a great exercise if you don’t have access to other forms of resistance. Figure out where your head needs to be to best serve your posture and shoulders. Keep your elbows in more towards your body to protect your shoulder joint as well as try and push your shoulders towards your feet whilst pushing your body up as this will help keep your shoulder blades in your pockets.




Both Feet on Ground (depending on your flexibility your legs may be bent much more of less than mine)




1 Leg Up (work on balance and flexibility while working those shoulders)



Shoulder Push Ups Level 2






Shoulder Push Ups Level 3








Shoulder Press – two different variations (the one on left you get core work twisting to each side and balance if you sit on a stability ball).







Shoulder T-Rotations – this one is great for posture as well as you have to work to stabilize the shoulder blades and keep them in their pockets. 






keep your elbows from dipping down as you get fatigued and really pull with the back body between the shoulder blades to the open arm position.


Live in the Memphis area and need to be inspired to get into your best shape or eat healthier and don’t know where to start or need to get out of the gym rut?


Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, TPI Level 1 Certified
Owner/Dir. of Training, Energy Fitness (established 2002)

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