No doubt an exercise you are familiar with, however it is an exercise that all of us here at Team LDNM exercise great caution with, and urge others to treat their shoulders with the same respect.

Sadly, despite our best efforts and caution we have all, at some point, suffered from a shoulder complaint of some description. It seems, that shoulders just aren’t cut out for repeated use. The majority of upper body exercises in the gym even if not done to isolate your shoulder, will engage them in some capacity.

When performing a shoulder press, a warm up (like with any muscle group) is key, take a look at our warm up routine here.



The next stage, for me, personally is to build up to lifting heavy on shoulders, upping the weight progressively set on set. Assess your shoulders mobility, and tolerance, evaluate your form. Only if all these elements have been met would I then go up a weight.

Key Points


Only work to your maximum WITHOUT compromising your form or    tempo, if you get it wrong with shoulders, you can say goodbye to training for a good few months.

Range of movement

Everyone’s range of movement differs, we personally come down to just below 90 degrees, any lower and we can feel discomfort or potential impingement.


Grip the dumbbell with a firm grip, in the middle of the dumbbell handle. Ensure that you keep the dumbbells level throughout the movement, and that you don’t allow them to either tilt in towards you, or away you. Aim to have your wrists directly in line with, or inside your elbow.

Head Position

Neck neutral, and head looking forwards and slightly up throughout the movement.


Aiming for a 3 second eccentric phase and an explosive concentric phase. Ensuring you drive directly upwards, there is no need to bring the dumbbells in at the top of the movement so that they touch – this causes discomfort for many.


Goal dependant. We usually operate in the hypertrophy rep range for shoulders so typically aiming for 4 sets of 8-12 reps, resting for 90 seconds. Low low rep, heavy weight doesn’t in our experience the longevity of your shoulders!


For full and brutal Shoulder workouts, be sure to check out our LDNM Boulder Shoulder Pack.