Are Cuban Presses Good and Safe?

Before we talk about how are cuban presses good and safe for you, let's briefly go over what the Cuban Press exercise is:

The Cuban Press is an exercise that targets the shoulders, rotator cuff, and upper back muscles. It can be done standing up or as a more difficult variant on your stomach on an incline bench. Usually done with relatively lightweight as part of a dynamic warm-up to lift the upper body.

Are Cuban Presses Good and Safe?

Cuban Press Benefits

Complete Shoulder Workout - Whether you're in a hurry or just want to make sure you hit all three delts evenly, the Cuban press is a great choice. While there are many other deltoid muscles, they generally emphasize a deltoid head. By working with all three heads simultaneously, the Cuban press is a time-saving exercise.

Secret Rotator Cuff Exercises – The rotator cuff is an important muscle group, but most people only train it when they are weak or injured. The Cuban press is a complete deltoid exercise that also works the rotator cuff, so you can stop CR problems before they start. That's why the Cuban press is such a useful exercise.

It teaches you how to "adjust" your shoulder blades - one clue to learning how to do the Cuban press is to pull your shoulders down and back aka setting your shoulder blades to be Scapular alignment stabilizes the shoulder girdle and shoulder joint and prevents unwanted movements that can cause shoulder injuries. Position your shoulder blades for bench presses, pull-ups, deadlifts, and any other exercise to protect your shoulder joints and lift more weight.

Good for mobility – Cuban presses require and develop better shoulder mobility and flexibility. Doing a few light sets with sweeps is a great way to warm up and lubricate your shoulder joints. This movement also stretches many important shoulder muscles. If you have healthy shoulders, a regular dose of Cuban press can help them stay that way.


While Cuban devices are generally safe and cost-effective, there are some downsides to consider:

It's not good if you already have shoulder problems - if your shoulders are already stiff, sore, and twisted, the Cuban press can make them worse. They include a wide range of emotions that can aggravate your shoulders if you have arthritis, tendonitis, calcifications, a swimmer's shoulder, or a SLAP (Superior Anterior and Posterior Labrum).

If you have hidden shoulder problems, do the Cuban sweep and only increase the weight if you have no side effects. Even so, you will find that this exercise makes the situation worse, not better. It's not an easy exercise to learn, the Cuban press requires good coordination and muscle control. Before doing this exercise, you should be able to perform all three movements correctly (vertical row, external rotation, bench press). As such, it may not be suitable for beginners.

Alternatives to the Cuban Press

The Cuban press is a great shoulder exercise, but that doesn't mean you have to do it all the time. There are several variations and alternatives you can use to make your workouts productive and interesting.

The following list is being edited and reworked:

1. Cuban press with dumbbells

The Cuban barbell bench press is a great exercise, but using a barbell braces your arms in a certain position, which is uncomfortable for some. Also, one hand can do more than the other. The Cuban Press Dumbbell allows you to adjust the exercise for greater comfort and ensures that both sides of the body are exercised equally. Using dumbbells also means you can start lighter, as even an empty Olympic barbell weighs 20kg/45lbs, which can be too heavy for some lifters. Although a short blank or strip of light can get the job done.

2. Cuban Twist

Cuban Twist is a shortened Cuban press that does not eliminate the vertical line press and overhead press. This makes the full shoulder workout more rotator cuff-focused. If you prefer standing and bench presses, but still want to work your rotator cuffs, this is the option for you.

How To Do This:

While sitting, squatting, or standing, hold the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar through the front of the body towards the chest/chest. Your arms should be parallel to the floor, elbows bent at 90 degrees. This is your start/end position.

  • Swing the bar out and up over your head.
  • Roll the bar back to the sternum and repeat.
  • You can also do this exercise with dumbbells.

3. Arnold Press

Although the impression of Arnold, seven-time nominated Mr. Instead of a pre-rehab exercise like the Cuban press, Olympic champion Arnold Schwarzenegger uses all three delt heads, making it a convenient alternative. Also, the Arnold press probably allows you to use heavier weights, so it's a better hypertrophic (weight training) exercise than the Cuban press.

4. Victory Boost Dumbbell with Stripes

Where the Cuban press includes vertical rows, external rotations, and an overhead press to work the shoulders, the barbell deadlift involves more or less the same muscles in one movement. If you don't mind working your biceps and triceps using your delts, try this exercise.

How To Do This:

Wrap a lightweight mini-band around your wrist and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Turn your wrists so that your palms are facing inward. Hold the weights in front of your hips. Squeeze your abs and pull your shoulders down and back.

Without bending your elbows, extend your arms forward, up and over your head, and press against the resistance of the band. At the top of the lift, your arms should form a wide V.

Lower your hands and repeat.

Do not rest between repetitions. Maintain at least some outside pressure in the tire. You can do this exercise without dumbbells, just focus on lifting and pushing your arms. It is a good choice for athletes at home.

5. Smooth Incline with Dumbbells

The bench press primarily works the rear delts, rhomboids, and mid-trapezius. While not as complex as the Cuban press, it's still a great exercise for shoulder health and better posture. Easy is harder than it looks!

How To Do This:

Adjust the adjustable bench to approximately 45 degrees. With a dumbbell in each hand, lie down and lift your head. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height, palms facing forward. Pull your shoulders down and back.

Press the dumbbells forward at arm's length, keeping your shoulders back and your arms in line with your upper body.

Return the weights to your shoulders and repeat.

6. Dumbbell Shoulder YTI Complex

The YTI Dumbbell Shoulder Set is a conditioning exercise designed to increase shoulder strength and stability. The name refers to the shape you create with your hands while doing three different movements. This is a surprisingly challenging set of exercises, so take it easy until you get the hang of it.

How To Do This:

Adjust the adjustable bench to approximately 45 degrees. With a dumbbell in each hand, lie down and lift your head. Let your arms hang, palms facing inwards. Pull your shoulders down and back. Bend your elbows slightly, but keep them steady throughout the exercise. Move your arms forward and out to make a Y shape. Make sure your thumb is pointing toward the ceiling. Lower your arms and repeat as many times as you like.

Then lift your arms out to the sides to make a T-shape perpendicular to your body. Lower your arms and repeat.

Finally, slide your arms back and lift the dumbbells out to the sides to form an I. Lower your arms and repeat.

7. Face Thrust With External Rotation

The facelift is an effective rear and center delt exercise where you pull your arms back and bring them parallel to the floor with your wrists, elbows, and shoulders forming a straight line. Adding external rotation to the facelift turns a good workout into a great workout and increases the involvement of the rear deltoid and rotator cuff.

How To Do This:

Connect the rope handle to the rope device located in the middle of the chest. Hold the handles with your thumb at the ends. Extend your arms in front of you, and adopt a standard or split posture of your choice. Squeeze your abs and pull your shoulders down and back.

Bend your arms and pull the straps towards your ears. As your hands come closer to your face, arch your shoulders and lift the handles above your head.

Extend your arms and repeat.

Wrapping Up

Because of the use of levers, you probably won't be able to use a lot of weight on Cuban presses, which means they're not great for building bigger muscles. Also, as you increase your stability, mobility, and shoulder health, you should find that your bench press, bench press, and overhead development all increase, leading to increased muscle mass.

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