Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Single-Arm Dumbbell Press

By Ryan Unverzagt

Single-Arm Dumbbell Press

Welcome back to another edition of “From the Trainer!” Let’s keep the fitness momentum rolling into March with another simple but effective exercise called the Single-Arm Dumbbell Press. You might be wondering, “Why use just one dumbbell?” The main reason for only a single DB is to create a balance mismatch which requires your body to automatically activate your spinal and abdominal muscle groups during this exercise. It’s also great for the shoulders, trapezius, rhomboids, and triceps.

To start, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the DB palm forward and away from the shoulder with your wrist directly above the elbow (Figure 1). This position alone will unconsciously   activate “the core”, however, still focus on keeping the abdominals tight while pressing the DB overhead. Notice the finish position (Figure 2) of the DB. The inside edge should be in line with the top of your head. The pressing motion is like an arc pattern, going from wide at the bottom to more narrow at the top toward the midline of your body. The wrist should always stay aligned above your elbow to prevent possible injury to the elbow, shoulder, or even worse, your head! Slowly lower the DB back to the start position by following the arc pattern.

Try at least two sets of 12-15 reps per arm. If the DB is in your left hand, your abdominal and spinal muscles will be working harder on your right side because the resistance is uneven along the spine. The opposite arm (uninvolved one) can be relaxed at your side or the hand can be placed on your hip or abdominals. This will remind you to keep them flexed throughout the exercise. Avoid bending or twisting your torso during the press.

The single-arm DB Press is a great exercise to include during any workout routine. The key to a successful fitness program is consistency. You can accomplish this by mixing it up with new exercises to stay motivated. Keep up the hard work and I will see you next month!

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