The primary muscles stressed in this movement are the shoulder muscles (anterior deltoid). The secondary muscle stressed is the trapezius.

Starting Position

Grab a dumbbell in each hand. Stand straight up and down with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Place your hands in front of and close to your thighs with your palms facing. Keep your elbows slightly bent.


Keeping your elbows slightly bent, raise the dumbbells straight up in front of you until your hand is at eye level, palms facing the floor. Take two to three seconds to lower the dumbbells back down to your thigh. Repeat with the left side.

Training Tips

  • When alternating the dumbbells, wait until one side of the movement is completed before beginning the other side.
  • You can also perform this movement with your palms facing your body for rehabilitation purposes and to isolate different muscles in the shoulder
  • You can also perform this movement with cables.
  • You can do both arms/D.B. at the same time or alternating.

Warning Tips

  • Do not shrug your shoulders as you bring the dumbbells up to eye level. Failure to do so can result in injury to your shoulders trapezius and neck.
  • Do not excessively arch your back when performing this movement. Failure to do so can result in serious injury to your back.
  • Do not lower the dumbbells any faster than two to three seconds. You must be in control at all times during this movement. The faster you perform this movement, the less control you will have which in turn will increase your risk of injury.

Robert BoveeRobert Bovee Certified Master PPT, RTS, ETS, FTS

As one of the most successful Professional Personal Trainers and Exercise/Fitness Therapists in the United States, Robert continues to remain at the forefront of the industry by providing his clients with a thorough education and the tools to implement that education. By improving his client’s physical health, strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness and nutritional habits, he is able to motivate them to lead longer, happier and more productive lives. Find out more about Robert and his personal training career and services, here.


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