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Cuban Press

This Shoulder Exercise combines an Upright Row and a Dumbbell Shoulder Press and uses a unique Motion to Target your Trapezius and Deltoid Muscles

Welcome to our Cuban Press Exercise Instruction Guide!

On this page you'll learn how to do this shoulders exercise using the correct technique. Below you'll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Shoulder Exercises so you can immediately add to your next Shoulder Workout Routine and other Weight Training Routines.

Have you seen our Best Shoulder Exercises page yet? See if this deltoid and trapezius exercise made the list!

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name:Cuban Press
Main Muscle:Deltoid
Secondary Muscle(s):Trapezius, Chest, Triceps
Exercise Type:Compound
Equipment Required:Dumbbells

Exercise Description and Instruction:

This shoulders exercise is one of our dumbbell exercises and uses a unique motion that combines portions of the Dumbbell Upright Row and the Dumbbell Shoulder Press. It can be done from a standing or seated position.  

cuban press
cuban press

To Perform This Exercise:

  1. From a seated or standing position, hold a pair of dumbbells at your thighs with your arms fully extended and your palms facing your legs. This will be your starting position.
  2. Begin the movement exhaling and lifting the elbows up, as if performing a Dumbbell Upright Row, until your biceps and triceps are perpendicular to your body.
  3. Once you reach this position, externally rotate the dumbbells up while keeping the upper arms stationary and rotating only at the shoulder joint. Continue this movement until the forearms are perpendicular to the floor and the hands are pointing towards the ceiling like you are flexing.
  4. Now exhale and press the dumbbells up over your head as if performing a Dumbbell Shoulder Press.
  5. Return to the starting position by reversing the movements and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  1. This shoulder exercise is not recommended for those with shoulder problems.
  2. Complete the exercise in a slow and controlled manner. Use a very light amount of weight until you are comfortable with the lift.
  3. Do not lock your elbows at the top of the lift.
  4. Focus on keeping your back straight and squeezing your traps as you extend your arms.

Now that you've seen the Cuban Press, check out all of our different Shoulder Exercises. Or, view some of our most popular shoulder exercises and other related pages below.


Most Popular Deltoid and Trapezius Exercises:

Check out some of our other popular Shoulder Exercises and Variations:


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