Exercise of the Week: Single-Arm Physioball Dumbbell Press

Want to develop strength effectively? Here's how: perform exercises that use large muscles and multiple joints. That's why the Chest Press, which does both, is the primary exercise for developing upper body strength. The chest, shoulders and triceps work to press the weight, while other upper body muscles, such as the biceps and scapula retractors, are activated to stabilize and lower the weight to the starting position.

Yet despite its strength-building capabilities, the Chest Press lacks two components that are important for athletes: stability and core work. When performing the Press, you're lying on a stable surface and using only your upper body muscles—rare circumstances in any sport.

To add stability and core activation to a Chest Press, perform the Single-Arm Physioball Dumbbell Press. The instability of the physioball, combined with the single arm component, activates critical stabilizer muscles, which keep your body balanced and the weight under control. In addition, your core works to stabilize the body against the uneven load, and your glutes and abs are engaged to keep your body in the bridge position.

  • Assume bridge position with upper back resting on physioball
  • Hold dumbbell in right hand at shoulder level with arm to the side
  • Press dumbbell by extending arm up and over chest
  • Lower dumbbell in a controlled manner to start position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite arm

Sets/Reps: 1x12, 1-2x10 each arm


Andy Haley Andy Haley - Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami University...
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