Tip: Set Up For Heavy Dumbbell Bench Presses

Don't get a shoulder injury before you even start to do reps. Here's how to properly get your big weights in place.

Sometimes lifters get injured not from lifting weights, but from preparing to lift them. Getting dumbbells into position can cause shoulder problems once the load gets heavy. This is especially true for the dumbbell bench press.

Most people lean all the way back, get the weights close to their chests, and then lift up from there. That can cause shoulder irritation. It's not the best way to do it.

What To Do Instead

  • First, set the dumbbells on top of your legs, pretty close to your knees. This will give you the advantage of the full length of your thigh.
  • Then in a fluid motion rock forward, lean back, and use your knees to "kick" the weights up to the starting position.

Think: Rock, lean back, kick. Your shoulders will thank you.

Drew Murphy is a gym owner and personal trainer located in Tiffin, Iowa. Out of his facility, he trains clients using a wide range of strength and conditioning methods.  Follow Drew Murphy on Instagram