Dumbbell Cuban Press: Your Unbelievable Shoulder Exercise

Are you feeling stuck in your shoulder workouts? Do you find yourself struggling to activate your rear deltoids? If so, don’t worry, you are not alone. Many people struggle to properly engage their rear delts during shoulder exercises, which can lead to a lack of progress and even injury. The root cause of this issue is often a lack of proper form and technique when performing exercises like the dumbbell cuban press. But fear not, in this post, I will guide you through step-by-step instructions on how to properly perform the dumbbell cuban press and help you achieve a more effective and efficient shoulder workout.

Dumbbell Cuban Press Summary

Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Dumbbell Cuban Press Instructions

  • You can start by picking up your dumbbells, stand up straight with your dumbbells in front of you.
  • First, raise the dumbbells up to a shoulder press starting position by rotating at your shoulder moving the dumbbells in front of you.
  • Next perform an overhead shoulder press.
  • Then return the dumbbells back to the starting position using the same path.
  • Continue to repeat this movement until you reach your ideal number of repetitions.

Video Tutorial

How To Perform the Cuban Press - Exercise Tutorial

Dumbbell Cuban Press Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers


  • Iliocastalis lumborum
  • Iliocastalis thoracis

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the dumbbell cuban press exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Dumbbell Cuban Press

The Dumbbell Cuban Press is an excellent exercise for building strength and size in the Anterior Deltoid muscle. This exercise requires a high level of shoulder stability and control, making it a great choice for athletes looking to improve shoulder strength and stability. It also works the Anterior Deltoid muscle, helping to promote a stronger and more aesthetically pleasing shoulder. When performing the Dumbbell Cuban Press, it is important to keep the elbows close to the body and the weights directly over the shoulder throughout the entire movement. Doing so will help ensure that the Anterior Deltoid is receiving the maximum benefit of the exercise.

Tips for Performing Dumbbell Cuban Press

In order for you to achieve the best muscle growth, you need to use these uncomplicated tips. Similarly, if you wish to protect yourself against an injury, you would be wise to try these tips.

  • Complete the Proper Amount Of Sets Along With Rest. Your objective in the beginning might be to do 3 sets to near fatigue. Although, you can build up to 5 sets. If your muscle tissue aren’t exhausted at the conclusion of 3 – 5 some thing should change. Initially you can increase the resistance to make each rep harder. Second, you can cut down on the rest time between your sets.
  • Perform your primary compound movements at the beginning of your routine, next do isolation movements to target individual muscle groups towards the end. You really want the pinnacle capabilities of your individual muscle groups any time you accomplish coumpound exercises such as, squats, deadlift and bench. Next you need to work the areas of which you determined were weak in those lifts, or regions that couldn’t get fatigued as a result of the style of compound exercise you performed.
  • Stay Hydrated. You will have much more energy and recover faster when you intake water while exercising.
  • Finding A Recovery Period That Should Be Small, But You Can Easily Nonetheless Accomplish A Solid Whole Set. When ever your recovery period is to short you may be unable to carry out your whole set, if it is too prolonged you happen to be merely waisting time.

Benefits and Tips Video

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

You should stay clear of these regular issues to keep excellent technique and muscle gains. Also, when you stay away from these errors you will reduce the odds of having injuries.

  • You Can’t Make It To Easy. Your main way to build muscle will be to challenge yourself.
  • Stop Yourself From Using To Little or Too Much Resistance. Not enough, and you will not be sufficiently employing your agonist (target) muscles, excess, and you’ll most likely need to cheat. Be sure you concentrate on your proper movement.
  • You Must Not Neglect Your Pains. Tender muscles and an injury pain are certainly not the same. Once you come to feel painfulness any time you are training you will want to stop, or you can simply just make this injury worse.

Find More Dumbbell Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

There are many other exercises that work similar muscles as the Dumbbell Cuban Press and can be used to supplement or substitute it in a workout routine. Here are some variations, complementary, and alternative exercises to consider:

Dumbbell One Arm Shoulder Press

Graphic image of Dumbbell One Arm Shoulder Press.

The Dumbbell One Arm Shoulder Press is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Dumbbell Cuban Press. This exercise targets the shoulder muscles, and can be done standing or seated. It involves pressing a dumbbell overhead with one arm while keeping the torso upright and the elbow slightly bent. The shoulder press is an effective exercise for building shoulder strength and stability, and is an excellent choice for those looking for a full-body workout. It can be used as an alternative or complementary exercise to the Cuban Press to provide a more balanced shoulder workout.

Dumbbell Palms In Shoulder Press

Graphic image of Dumbbell Palms In Shoulder Press.

The Dumbbell Palms In Shoulder Press is an excellent complementary exercise to the Dumbbell Cuban Press. This exercise helps to target the same muscles, but with a different angle. It works the shoulders, triceps, and core as well as the stabilizing muscles around the shoulder joint. This exercise also increases shoulder stability and strength, which can help improve overall shoulder health. The Dumbbell Palms In Shoulder Press is an excellent alternative to the Dumbbell Cuban Press and can be used to target the same muscles without overstressing the shoulder joint.

Dumbbell Push Press

Graphic image of Dumbbell Push Press.

The Dumbbell Push Press is a great complementary or alternative exercise for the Dumbbell Cuban Press. It works the same muscle groups and helps to build upper body strength and power. It also involves a pushing motion which helps develop explosive power, making it an excellent exercise for athletes looking to increase their performance. The Dumbbell Push Press is a great way to supplement the Dumbbell Cuban Press, as it provides a different type of motion that can help target the same muscle groups in a slightly different way.

Check Out These Top Dumbbell Exercises

Dumbbell W Press

Graphic image of Dumbbell W Press.

The Dumbbell W Press is a great complement or alternative to the Dumbbell Cuban Press. This exercise focuses on working the shoulder muscles, as well as the chest and triceps. It also works the core muscles for stabilization. The Dumbbell W Press is a great way to add variety to your workout routine and target different muscle groups. It also helps to improve range of motion and balance. The exercise can be performed with lighter weights for higher reps or heavier weights for lower reps. It can be used as an alternative to the Dumbbell Cuban Press or as a complement to it.

One Arm Band Shoulder Press

Graphic image of One Arm Band Shoulder Press.

The One Arm Band Shoulder Press is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Dumbbell Cuban Press. It is similar to the Cuban press, but instead of using dumbbells, you use a resistance band. The exercise targets the deltoids, trapezius, and triceps muscles. It is a great way to build strength and stability in the shoulders. The resistance band provides a unique challenge that can help to increase mobility and range of motion. It is an excellent exercise for developing shoulder strength and stability, as well as for improving overall upper body muscular endurance.

Seated Dumbbell Military Press

Graphic image of Seated Dumbbell Military Press.

The Seated Dumbbell Military Press is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Dumbbell Cuban Press. This exercise targets the deltoids, trapezius and triceps, making it a great shoulder workout. It is performed by sitting on a bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand and pushing the weights upwards until your arms are fully extended. Unlike the Dumbbell Cuban Press, the Seated Dumbbell Military Press does not involve rotating the arms, and instead focuses on pushing the weight up in a straight line. This exercise can be used to increase shoulder strength and size, as well as improving shoulder stability.

Find More Shoulders Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

In addition to the Dumbbell Cuban Press, there are several exercises that can be used to complement this exercise and work the opposing muscles. These exercises can help you achieve a balanced workout, as they target the muscles that the Dumbbell Cuban Press does not. Below is a list of exercises that will help you build strength and stability in those opposing muscle groups.

One Arm Pulldown With Bands

Graphic image of One Arm Pulldown With Bands.

One Arm Pulldown With Bands is a great exercise to complement the Dumbbell Cuban Press. It works the same muscle group in an opposing motion, targeting the back and shoulder muscles. By combining this exercise with the Cuban Press, you can target the same muscles from multiple angles, resulting in a more complete workout. The One Arm Pulldown With Bands also helps to improve your posture and increase stability in your shoulders and upper back. This makes it a great accessory exercise to any strength-training routine.

Rear Pull Up

Graphic image of Rear Pull Up.

Rear Pull Up is a great complement to Dumbbell Cuban Press as it uses the opposite muscle group. The Rear Pull Up focuses on the posterior muscles of the back, such as the latissimus dorsi and trapezius, while the Dumbbell Cuban Press targets the anterior muscles of the shoulder, such as the deltoids and triceps. By performing both exercises, you can create a well-rounded workout that works both muscle groups. Furthermore, Rear Pull Up is also great for improving posture and stability.

Stability Ball Dumbbell Pullover

Graphic image of Stability Ball Dumbbell Pullover.

The Stability Ball Dumbbell Pullover is a great complementary exercise to the Dumbbell Cuban Press. It works the opposing muscle groups of the chest and the back, and helps create balance between the two. This exercise targets the lats, rhomboids, and rear delts, while providing a deep stretch in the chest. It also helps increase mobility in the shoulder joint, while improving posture. By doing both exercises together, you will be able to strengthen your chest and back muscles, as well as improve your overall mobility and posture.

Unleash Shoulder Strength with Dumbbell Cuban Press

Unleash your shoulder strength with the dumbbell Cuban press. The exercise targets multiple areas of your shoulder and upper back muscles, including the rotator cuff, deltoids, and traps. This variation of the overhead press is also excellent for improving your shoulder mobility, which is essential for many everyday activities. As you progress, challenge yourself by gradually increasing the weight you’re lifting, but always prioritize proper form over heavy weights to ensure maximum benefits and minimize the risk of injury.

References: Wikipedia | ExRx.net | PubMed.gov | Comprehensive List of Shoulders Dumbbell Exercises

Pin image for dumbbell cuban press post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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