When you’re seated, the ground is already bracing your pelvis, so your core loses half of its team! If you try to lift weights overhead and you’re sitting on the floor, your spinal erectors will have to work extra hard to keep your posture lifted since they don’t have help from your hips. They’ll recruit more help from your mid-back muscles, and your upper back will have to provide both stability and strength far greater than it would if you were in a standing position. That’s why you have to try this move:
Seated Dumbbell Rotating Shoulder Press
Note: This exercise still works both your shoulders and back if you are standing, but for the reason described above, it’s more effective for the back in a seated position.
Step 1: Have a seat on the floor with your legs either straight out in front of you, together, or spread about hip-width apart. (You may find it’s easier to maintain lifted posture if your legs are spread a bit.) Flex your feet. Hold a set of medium-weight dumbbells or SoftBells. Bring your forearms and elbows to touch or nearly touch in front of your face, with elbows lifted to shoulder height and palms facing toward you.
Step 2: Open the arms out wide, taking the elbows out even with the shoulders. Maintain 90-degree bends at the elbows, and keep your posture lifted.
Step 3: Press both arms overhead, bringing the dumbbells to touch at the top. Keep your posture lifted, and avoid rounding your back. Hold momentarily at the top, then reverse the steps to return to starting position.
Perform 10 repetitions. Rest. Complete 3 sets like this.
Make it easier: Try this on a utility bench at a gym or sitting in a back-supported chair at home.
Make it harder: After 10 repetitions of your Seated Dumbbell Rotating Shoulder Presses, hold one weight at the top, and perform 10 single-arm shoulder presses on the other arm (see photo above). Switch arms and repeat.