Dumbbell Cuban Press – Instructions for effective shoulder training

Dumbbell Cuban Press is a very good but little-known shoulder exercise to do. If you want to add more muscle to your shoulders, don’t forget to add this exercise to your shoulder workout list.

Instructions for shoulder training with the Dumbbell Cuban Press

This exercise works the smaller intrinsic muscles of the shoulder, which control the rotation of the joint.

Detailed information about the Dumbbell Cuban Press exercise

Detailed information about the Dumbbell Cuban Press exerciseDetailed information about the Dumbbell Cuban Press exercise

Type of exercise: Power
Main impact mechanism: Shoulder muscles (Shoulder)
Secondary muscle: Oblique muscle, Trapezius muscle (Trap), Rotator Cuff
Exercise equipment: Dumbbell (dumbbell)
Muscle type: Compound
Level: Basic
Type: Push

Difficulty: 3.5

Instructions for performing the Dumbbell Cuban Press exercise

  Instructions for performing the Dumbbell Cuban Press exercise  Instructions for performing the Dumbbell Cuban Press exercise

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your body upright and tense throughout the exercise
  2. Hold light dumbbells at your sides, palms facing back.
  3. Raise your arms out to the sides until your elbows are bent 90° and the dumbbells hang straight down.
  4. Rotate your arms so your hands are facing up, palms forward, keeping your upper arms horizontal.
  5. Push the dumbbells straight above your head
  6. Reverse the movement to return to the starting point.

This exercise can be done with each arm to increase difficulty and improve your mobility

See more: Shoulder training schedule for men in 10 weeks to have muscular shoulders

Common mistakes and things to pay attention to

  • A common mistake is moving too fast and using momentum to perform the movement. So, do the movement slowly and in a controlled manner so you can actually use those shoulder muscles instead of taking momentum from your torso.
  • In addition, this is an exercise that does not require using too heavy weights because it can easily cause injury, just use light to moderate weights.
  • While doing this exercise, keep your back straight and your abs tight to help maintain balance and support your body.
  • If you feel any pressure in your neck or tightness during the movement, look to address the lack of thoracic spine extension or shoulder flexion.
  • Keeping the elbows slightly bent at the top and not fully locked out will help keep tension in the shoulders.
  • If you can’t lock your elbows overhead, it could indicate a lack of shoulder mobility due to poor upward rotation of the scapula.
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Benefits of shoulder training with the Dumbbell Cuban Press

  • Activate and strengthen the rotator cuff and shoulder stabilizer muscles
  • A great warm-up before squats or heavy shoulder exercises
  • Can help add size and definition to your shoulders
  • Increasing flexibility in your shoulder muscles helps increase your shoulder’s range of motion (ROM).
  • It saves time because it works all three deltoid heads simultaneously, making it a good exercise for those short on time.

Who should practice Cuban Press?

If you’re trying to figure out whether you should add the Cuban Press to your routine, here are three groups of people who should do this exercise:

Olympic weightlifter

Olympic weightlifters perform repetitive movements that heavily involve the shoulders (snatch, clean and press and clean and jerk), but they also need to move in a way that stabilizes and activates the shoulders. The Cuban Press is a great exercise to warm up the shoulders, help prevent injury, and improve mobility.

People with inflexible shoulder muscles

The Cuban Press impacts shoulder mobility, which can benefit those with inflexible rotator cuffs. Additionally, it can help you gain better ROM in your upper back, which can improve performance with other exercises.

People who need a quick shoulder warm-up exercise

The Cuban Press can help you become better/more mobile in movements like push-ups, pull-ups, etc. It strengthens often neglected muscles and restores blood flow, making it a Great warm-up or pre-workout exercise.

How many times should I practice the Cuban Press?

The Cuban Press is interesting in that it’s an exercise that’s not intended to help you build muscle mass – instead, it’s intended to strengthen and stabilize your rotators. Think of it as a shoulder strengthening exercise, if you will.

  • For beginners: Do three sets of six repetitions. Use a light weight of 1-3kg, or use nothing at all.
  • For advanced athletes: Perform three sets, each set 15-20 times. Choose light weight (5-6kg).
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Variations of the Dumbbell Cuban Press exercise

Barbell Cuban Press

The way to do this exercise with a bar is the same as using dumbbells

YouTube videosYouTube videos

Seated Cuban Press

This exercise is exactly the same as the standing exercise, the only difference is that you will do it in a sitting position on a chair.

Dumbbell Seated Cuban Press shoulder exerciseDumbbell Seated Cuban Press shoulder exercise

Lying Cuban press

The change in angle will subject your rotator cuff muscles to different pressures. If this is the first time you’ve heard about these muscles, make sure you add some of these rotator cuff exercises to your routine to ensure your shoulders stay strong and healthy.

Shoulder exercise Lying Cuban pressShoulder exercise Lying Cuban press

  • Set your chair at a 30-45° angle.
  • Hold the dumbbells, keeping your arms straight on the floor
  • Raise your elbows out to the sides
  • Rotate your arms until your forearms are in line with your body.
  • Keep your elbow bent at 90°.
  • Press the weight straight in front of you.
  • Reverse the movement back to the starting position

Standing four-point press

Combine thrusting and shoulder rotation in one movement. Using heavy weights for this move risks injury, so keep the weights light.

Shoulder exercise Standing four-point pressShoulder exercise Standing four-point press

  • Start with the dumbbells at shoulder height and your elbows on either side of your body, palms facing forward
  • Push the weight straight overhead.
  • Lower the dumbbells while rotating your elbows to bring your arms forward, palms facing each other, elbows forming a 90-degree angle.
  • Continue lowering until your upper arm is at an angle to the floor.
  • Repeat

Some frequently asked questions when practicing Dumbbell Cuban Press

How effective is the Dumbbell Cuban Press?

‘Effective’ is a big word, but the Dumbbell Cuban Press will help your shoulder health and stability. Although this is not a movement aimed at gaining muscle, it is still a beneficial movement to incorporate into your workout.

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Is Dumbbell Cuban Press good for Rotator Cuff?

Yes, the Cuban Press is great for the Rotator Cuff if you have no pre-existing problems and are not lifting too much weight. If you have pre-existing Rotator Cuff problems, consult a licensed medical professional before trying this move.

Why is it called Cuban Press?

Canadian strength coach Charles Poliquin is credited with popularizing this shoulder exercise to help his lifters strengthen their shoulders. He is said to have called this move the “Cuban Press” because he claimed it was the move Cuban lifters used for their shoulders.

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