October 08, 2022 7 min read
The dumbbell devil press is a full-body exercise that lives up to its name. Anytime you see the devil’s press programmed into your routine you’ll know it’s going to be a tough day at the gym.
Aptly named, the devil press is a hellish, fluid, full-body movement combining a dumbbell burpee, hip hinge, and dumbbell snatch.
The devil press is an explosive compound exercise that induces dynamic and intense muscular training in quick succession. It is typically performed with low to moderate weight and in higher repetitions to take full advantage of its multiple benefits.
Those who are familiar with CrossFit workouts would also be familiar with this hellish routine. The devil’s press comprises multiple phases, best described separately and in detail. We’ll add some tips to help you master this range of motion in no time.
Starting position: Set a pair of dumbbells of equal weight lengthwise, shoulder-width apart on the floor in front of your feet.
Tips for beginners:
The momentum from getting to your feet and up in a standing position will have the dumbbells at hip height.
Different devil press variations give you options for doing the double dumbbell snatch. You could even use only one dumbbell to do single-arm devil press
The last phase of the first rep is to bring the dumbbells down in a controlled movement to get you back to the starting position.
Throughout the different phases of the devil press, avoid rounding your lower back, keep your core braced, and your shoulders down and back.
This will improve your performance and make the exercise safer.
Devil Presses are often included in AMRAP routines, meaning you should do as many reps as possible.
The high speed and the weighted resistance equipment involved in the Devil’s Press increase the risks of injuries to a level somewhat higher than that of more controlled and slow resistance exercises.
These are the primary risks:
As mentioned, devil’s presses are a compound full-body exercise. Below are the primary muscles activated and worked when you do the aptly named devil presses.
The quadriceps is a group of four muscles, the vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and the rectus femoris.
These muscles are located on the front of your thighs, and together, they work to extend your knee joint.
The three muscles that comprise the hamstrings are the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris.
These muscles are located on the back of the thighs, and their functions include flexing your knees and extending your hips.
Located on the back of your thighs, the hamstrings flex your knees and extend your hips.
These are the largest muscles in the body, aka the glutes, and they basically make up your butt.
The primary function of the gluteus maximus is hip extension.
As a group, the muscles of your midsection make up the core. They include the erector spinae, transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, and obliques.
These muscles prevent unwanted movement by stabilizing your spine.
The core is active during every movement you make while doing devil presses.
The pecs for short, are your chest muscles that play a significant role in the push-up motions in the devil press, and you’ll know that push-ups are excellent chest exercises.
The Pectorals major muscles are responsible for flexion, horizontal flexion, and medial rotation of your shoulder joints.
The deltoids include three groups of fibers called heads that work your shoulders. They are rear, middle, and front, or posterior, medial, and anterior deltoids.
It is clear the shoulders and the muscles that support them are well-used in the devil’s press.
The triceps work very hard when you do devil presses. They are responsible for elbow extension and are located on the back of your upper arms.
Performing devil presses offers a variety of benefits and positive effects— if it is done with proper form and at an appropriate level of intensity.
The benefits of exercise include a whole lot more than weight loss and strength gain.
Exercise can improve physical attributes and practical skills, such as balance and coordination, which can significantly affect your well-being and overall quality of movement.
For example, your center of gravity changes when you hold the dumbbells overhead, requiring exceptional muscle coordination and balance.
Similarly, the snatching of the dumbbell in performing the devil press requires perfect muscle coordination to swing the dumbbells to the overhead position.
Many mini movements make up the compound range of motion of the devil’s press.
Repeating the push-up, burpee, and snatch movements already tax many different muscles, and adding the dumbbells makes the muscles work even harder, taking it to the next level.
Muscular endurance is not only important for weightlifting and bodybuilding, but it is also an incredibly useful attribute for maintaining general health and well-being.
The range of motion of the devil press is one power movement after another.
You need to power yourself from the push-up position onto your feet, and also snatch those dumbbells overhead. At the quick succession of the devil press movements, you’ve barely dropped the dumbbells when the next power move is upon you.
Once you’ve mastered the devil’s press, you’ll develop explosive power that will benefit not only your sports activities but also your everyday life. Lifting that heavy box onto and off the shelf will become a breeze.
Running is known for its cardiovascular benefits, but if running is not your thing, devil’s presses are an excellent alternative.
Performing high-intensity, high reps devil presses with lighter dumbbells will no doubt leave you exhausted.
Devil presses don’t stand back from any other sort of cardiovascular exercise when it comes to overall conditioning and burning calories.
The devil press is a single exercise that engages almost every muscle in both the upper body and lower body and provides cardio benefits to boot.
Furthermore, it also helps develop endurance, strength, coordination, balance, and other fitness attributes.
Not to lose sight of the masses of calories devil presses burn. That is because the best calorie-burning workouts are full-body exercises that activate many muscle groups.
A devil press is one of only a few exercises with a movement pattern that puts the heart rate on a rollercoaster as it activates multiple muscles along the kinetic chain.
Devil presses are powerful because they involve the exerciser moving a moderate amount of weight over a long distance — over and over again!
Do not disregard the need to replenish muscle glycogen and electrolytes depleted when you do compound high-energy workouts like devil presses. The ability to adequately restore muscle glycogen and electrolytes simply cannot be done with food alone.
HyperAde quickly replenishes muscle glycogen and electrolytes that are depleted from intense bursts of energy. It is designed to be taken pre-workout, intra-workout, and/or post-workout.
You can learn more about the science behind how this combination of ingredients increases glucose uptake in your muscles here.