DB pressing improves the strength of the pectorals, deltoids, and triceps. The dumbbell (DB) form of this particular exercise is prelude to the 45° Degree Incline Bench Press, viewed by most coaches as the best predictor lift for the upper body for most sports.
Pressing improves arm swing in running and speed skating. The use of a parallel grip during the exercise puts slightly more stress on the anterior serratus, and keeps the head of the humerus – the bone of the upper arm – in an anatomically neutral position. Doing so spares the smaller muscles of the shoulder girdle undue amounts of additional strain, and is an appropriate technique to used in any press to make it less demanding for the client.
To begin the exercise, adjust a bench to 45° of incline. When fixing the angle of the bench, imagine drawing horizontal and vertical lines around the surface. If those horizontal and vertical imaginary lines around the long part of the bench look like a square; it is 45°. If they look like a vertically arranged rectangle, it is 60°. If they look like a horizontally arranged rectangle, it is 30°.
Next, grasp a set of dumbbells and lay back on the bench as shown below. The hands should be directly over the elbows, so that forearms are perpendicular to the floor.
Inhale. As you exhale, press the DB’s upward toward the ceiling. Be sure to keep the wrists over the elbows during the press. At the top of the range of motion, the DB’s should be over your face.
Lastly, inhale as you slowly descend to the start position.
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