The Cuban Press: A Must-Do Exercise for Defined Shoulders

June 21, 2022 - 0 COMMENTS


The Cuban press, also known as the Cuban shoulder press, is an effective exercise that works your shoulders, chest and triceps all at once. If you’re looking to add some definition to your shoulders, or if you just want to do some heavy lifting that will stimulate both strength and hypertrophy in your shoulders, the Cuban press should be at the top of your list. Learn how to perform this shoulder-building exercise properly with these steps.

Benefits of the Cuban press

Unlike a standard overhead press, which puts tension on your shoulders and rotator cuffs, keeping you from training heavy or progressing, a Cuban press places little to no strain on those joints. This means that you can safely train heavier while improving your shoulder strength and aesthetics. The result is more well-defined shoulders. Plus, it’s one of only four moves that work all three deltoids directly—the others being side raises, front raises and behind-the-neck presses—so it’s worth including in your routine.

How to do a Cuban press

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on an incline bench holding your elbows out to your sides with your palms facing forward. The dumbbells should be directly over your shoulders. Using only your shoulders, bend your elbows and raise both weights toward your face as high as you can without shrugging. Pause for a moment at the top of movement, then lower back down to start. Perform three sets of 12 reps per workout; rest 60 seconds between sets. Aim to increase weight with each set if you’re able to do so while maintaining proper form. If not, stick with lighter weight and complete all three sets before adding more weight next time around.

Why there is not much information about it

The Cuban press is a variation of a military press and, as such, it can be used to help strengthen your shoulders. This exercise may seem rather basic, but it’s one that you should do on a regular basis if you want to build strong shoulders and stabilize your shoulder blades. So what muscle does Cuban press work? The deltoids – more specifically, all three heads of your deltoid muscles (anterior, medial and posterior). Think of it as an exercise that targets every part of your shoulder. The anterior head works during front raises and shoulder presses while the posterior head gets worked when you lift behind your neck or hold dumbbells at arm’s length behind you.

What muscles do you work with it?

The movement requires you to use your shoulder muscles (the deltoids) and your triceps, as well as your back. However, even though it is primarily a shoulder exercise, you can see how it also uses your triceps and core. You don’t need any equipment to do it but if you want to add weights there are several options available. Read on!

Do you need equipment to do this exercise?

Yes, you can. In fact, it is recommended that you do in order to increase resistance and intensity. If you choose to use weights while doing your press movements, be careful not to overdo it or go too heavy so that you hurt yourself. If you feel pain in your shoulders or any other part of your body during exercise, immediately stop what you are doing and rest until it is no longer painful. Once discomfort has subsided and you feel ready to continue again, resume exercising slowly until full range of motion is restore. Always remember proper form when using weights and make sure that all exercises are done correctly so as not to cause injury during exercise!

Can I use weights while doing this exercise?

Yes, you can add weights to your reps as you get stronger. But only do so after a few weeks of doing just bodyweight presses to make sure your shoulders are able to handle more weight without sacrificing form. And be careful with how much weight you use; it’s possible (if not common) for women to overdo it when it comes to shoulder exercises. You don’t want bigger, rounder shoulders—you want smaller, sleeker ones! When adding weight, go with 5 or 10 pound dumbbells and gradually increase as needed over time.


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