This shoulder exercise can be performed with a pair of dumbbells or a barbell depending on your individual personal preference. If you are performing it with a barbell, you will want to use and overhand grip, while if you choose to use dumbbells instead, you should perform it with your palms facing towards the center of the body.
To start, get into a standing position with legs shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent to avoiding locking them in place. Next bring the dumbbells or barbell so elbows are bent and facing forward, the weight resting just near your shoulders.
Once you feel comfortable, begin the lift by pressing the arms overhead, until almost fully extended. Be sure that if you are using dumbbells you do not let them come too close together or else this will place unnecessary stress on the elbow joint.
Once elbows are extended, pause for a second and then lower them back down until your hands are about shoulder level once again.
This completes one entire rep, and you should be aiming to perform six to ten reps if your goal is muscle building or three to five reps if your goal is sheer muscular strength.
One thing you want to be very careful about with this exercise is maintaining a good form with your back. Far too many people start letting their stomach stick out, and their back takes a swayed, curved position.
When this occurs, there will be a great deal of pressure placed on the lower back and vertebra, which could lead to a serious back injury.
If you need help getting around this issue, perform the exercise with a mirror at your side. By looking in the direction of the mirror you can see your spinal alignment and ensure that it is upright without a sway.