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September 8, 2022

Single Arm Press (DB) Variations To Try

Single Arm Press (DB) Variations To Try with Annie Miller

If you want “toned” shoulders or “strong deltoids,” then doing some sort of single arm press is something that will likely benefit your training.

You have three areas that make up the deltoid muscle. All lay superficially on the shoulder (closest muscle to the skin). These include your anterior (front), medial (middle or lateral) and posterior (aka rear or back). Nearly all shoulder pressing exercises are going to recruit the deltoid group as the prime mover (the main muscle making the movement happen).

Today, I share a variations of the single arm press for you to try in within your own training, or programming for clients. No need to get super fancy, but also these may help with “boredom” in overhead pressing days.

👉Landmine options:

Standing or kneeling, the landline adds an anterior delt bias (front shoulder), and limits range of motion (less flexion than standard pressing). There is also NOT abduction with landmine options and the shoulder remains in a neutral position.

👉Z press (seated)

Bend your knees if hamstring flexibility is a limiter. This variation biases the core and spinal erectors – it demands thoracic spine mobility. A straddle can make this easier via widening your “stance” for better balance.

👉Half kneeling DB

Dorsiflex the rear foot (pull toes under towards shin), and engage rear glute to pull pelvis neutral, if not a slight posterior tilt. Another added challenge for the core.


Seated pressing eliminates leg engagement – while you don’t “drive through” your legs, you do still put pressure into the floor (opposing forces), by screwing the feet, and engaging the glutes during a strict press. It matters. Sitting eliminates that.

Incorporating single arm or “unilateral” work is a great way to focus in on one shoulder at a time. And can also work on any strength discrepancies you have side to side.

Which variation do you love, or want to try? Check out and use my 400+ exercise demo videos on YouTube – creep the organized playlists or link them in your program. They were made for YOU. Much love.

Original IG post below:

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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