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Roghish

Dumbbell press: how to get the weights into position?

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Hi all,

What I find most difficult by far in doing dumbbell presses is getting the weights into position, I feel like I have to settle with lighter weights than I could because of this.  Are there any tricks that can make this easier?

Thanks in advance!

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I've used 15kg / 33lb dumbbells for floor press, this involved sitting up and nestling each one upright into my lap, then doing a slow lying back down and into position.

 

I was just reading about dumbbell floor presses the other day actually:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/the-floor-press-what-makes-the-floor-press-so-special.html

 

It does mention the problem. It suggests using one dumbbell so you can use the other hand to stabilise, or:

 

 

If you go with two dumbbells, the best way to get the dumbbells into position is to have a partner hand them to you. But if you're by yourself, start with the dumbbells positioned vertically on your thighs and then bend your legs and lie backwards, using the momentum to fling the dumbbells into place.
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For what it's worth.  Also, note that Elliot uses some pretty intense NSFW language.  Headphones advised. 

 

tl;dr - Stick with the light weights when it comes to DB movements.

 

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I don't like that guy. Every time I go on Youtube for a tutorial his gormless face turns up yelling at me NOT TO DO IT because it'll make you die or something. Is he for real?

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I think he deliberately titles his videos in a very clickbaity fashion. The actual advice usually seems... mostly sane?

 

Like, his advice here is "if you can't lift a dumbbell yourself, you have no business using that dumbbell; go fix your core and posture problems first, and then positioning the weights will sort itself out."

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Sit on the bench with the weights on the floor in front of you. Lift them up onto your legs resting on the quad towards the knee area (I do one at a time) Lay back whilst raising your legs at the same time to help lift them into position. Practice the technique with lighter weights first.  

Don't fling them up or lay back fast, you will hurt yourself. Take it easy and keep everything nice and tight going into position. 

 

I agree that if you can't pick up a dumbbell you shouldn't be using that weight.

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Sit on the bench with the weights on the floor in front of you. Lift them up onto your legs resting on the quad towards the knee area (I do one at a time) Lay back whilst raising your legs at the same time to help lift them into position. Practice the technique with lighter weights first.  

Don't fling them up or lay back fast, you will hurt yourself. Take it easy and keep everything nice and tight going into position. 

 

I agree that if you can't pick up a dumbbell you shouldn't be using that weight.

 

This, you should be able to get a decently heavy dumbbell into position like this.

I sit like you mention, dumbbells on quads and then roll backwards, still in sitting position until the weights sort of roll into position. Then i sort my legs out.

When you are done the best thing i find is to drop the weights. You don't want to be still holding them when they hit the floor as you'll pull your shoulder (unless the bench is low of you are floor pressing) but similarly you don't want to be throwing them. It's not as hard as it sounds. Practice light as people have said.

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If you are too weak to get 'heavy' weights into position, you'll only hurt yourself if you keep trying that with fancy tricks. What I do is that I put the dumbbells pretty high in my thighs and bring them up to position while 'falling backwards' on the bench. This works in both dumbbell bench and incline bench. Let's say you can do 4x8 with 40kg dumbbells but are struggling to bring them up to position. Drop the weight to 30, execute the exercise slowly at first and when you can't do that anymore, you can do it faster in a 'pumping' fashion. If your goal is to grow, that is a much better way to stimulate the muscles than barely being able to do 4x8 with those heavier dumbbells.

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This, you should be able to get a decently heavy dumbbell into position like this.

I sit like you mention, dumbbells on quads and then roll backwards, still in sitting position until the weights sort of roll into position. Then i sort my legs out.

When you are done the best thing i find is to drop the weights. You don't want to be still holding them when they hit the floor as you'll pull your shoulder (unless the bench is low of you are floor pressing) but similarly you don't want to be throwing them. It's not as hard as it sounds. Practice light as people have said.

 

Yeah i'm the same, kind of like the move a turtle would make rolling in slowmo onto its shell :tongue:

 

I have a tiled floor so the wife would kill me if she heard me dropping weights, I kind of do a reverse to get back up, bring my knees up and then rock forward to sit up.

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The Elliot Hulse video is spot on.

 

You should be using a weight you can handle, be able to get it into position, do your reps with a full range of motion, and increase the weight when you're ready.

You will have no problem getting the weight up if you approach it this way. I usually increase weight when I can get around 8 to 10 clean reps, and I have never had a problem getting the next weight into position (up to now :tongue:)   I'm only up to 70lb dumbbells at the moment so nothing amazing, but I have had steady increases throughout the last 6 months.

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Yup, must admit Eliot Hulse comes across sometimes abrasively but his advice is sound.

I like doing core work before my bench work, although YMMW. Started off around 50 lbs per arm up to 80 lbs in three months....thought I was doing good until my friend showed me how to Arnold press. Sheer evil. Dropped back to 50 again to get the movement down right and strength ancillary muscles.

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