The alternating dumbbell curl-to-press challenges your arms and shoulders while improving your core stability.
The amount of weight you can curl limits the amount of weight you can use. The advantage of this exercise over a simple shoulder press or a biceps curl is that you build strength throughout the full movement. There is a larger range of motion taking a weight that is next to your sides then curling and pressing it overhead in one smooth motion.
Alternating sides can help you identify muscular imbalances between your right and left arm.
- Stand tall holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides.
- Keeping your body stable and your core tight, curl one dumbbell up to your shoulder and then forcefully press it overhead while rotating your hand counter clockwise so that your palm faces forward when your arm is fully extended with your elbow locked.
- Pull the weight back down to the starting position slowly with control rotating your palm so it faces your body.
- Repeat on the other arm.
3 Common Mistakes
1. Using Momentum
The most common form mistake doing biceps curls is using momentum to help pull the weight. Be sure to keep your body upright instead of leaning backwards to build momentum for the curl.
2. Leaning Side to Side
As you are pressing the weight overhead, keep your body straight, which requires core strength. Avoid leaning over to the opposite side that you are pressing. So if you are pressing a dumbbell in your right hand, avoid leaning to your left.
3. Hyperextend the low back
Many guys lack shoulder flexibility, so pressing overhead may not be the best option. If you don’t have enough shoulder flexibility, you may find you need to lean back in order to press the weight overhead. If you are unable to press the weight overhead while keeping your back straight, it’s best to not do this exercise.