Starting Position: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, sit with your back against a backrest so that your head, shoulders and butt make contact with the bench. Place your feet firmly on the floor. Brace your torso by contracting your core and abdominal muscles. If working with a spotter, signal for assistance. Exhale and slowly lift the dumbbells to shoulder height, and shoulder width or slightly wider. Palms are facing forward, thumbs wrapped around the handles and wrists in a neutral position. Do not allow the wrists to bend throughout the exercise. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Maintain these positions throughout the exercise.
Upward Phase: Exhale and press the dumbbells overhead until your elbows are straight. Do not allow your low back to arch. Keep torso rigid, shoulder blades pulled down and back, wrists neutral, back in contact with the bench and feet firmly planted on the floor. For more comfort through the range-of-motion keep your elbows pointed in front of you.
Downward Phase: Inhale. In a slow and controlled manner, bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells. Keep your torso rigid, wrists neutral, back in contact with the bench and feet firmly planted on the floor. Mindfully contract the muscles of your back and arms to bring the dumbbells down. Resist yielding to gravity.
Spotting is important to ensure safety in this exercise. The spotter should stand behind you in a split-stance position, positioning their hands close to your wrists (not touching) to support you as needed.