How To Do Cuban Press Effectively

Cuban Press – also referred to as the Muscle Snatch – is an exercise that strengthens the muscles of the shoulders, rotator cuff, and upper back. It combines a shoulder external rotation with a dumbbell press, training multiple joints and muscle groups in a single, fluid sequence.

What Muscles Does Kick Crunch Work?

  • Primary muscles worked: Shoulders
  • Secondary muscles worked:  Rotator cuff,  upper back
  • Equipment: Dumbbells

How To Perform the Cuban Press Effectively

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your core tight and back flat.

2. Hold a dumbbell in each of your hands, palms facing behind you.

3. Raise your arms out to the sides until your elbows are perpendicular to your torso, with the weights hanging straight down.

4. While keeping your upper arms steady, inhale as you rotate the dumbbells up until your forearms are perpendicular to the floor and your hands are pointed up. Exhale when you have completed this movement.

5. Press the weights straight overhead as if you were performing a shoulder press.

6. Pause and return to the starting position.

Sets And Reps

  • Beginner: 1-2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Advanced: 5 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions

Start by doing 1 or 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. Over time, increase the number of sets and reps as you become stronger, until you can do 5 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. 

Benefits of Cuban Press

This exercise can strengthen your rotator cuff muscles and improve your shoulder stability. It’s a great warm-up for bench presses or heavier shoulder presses. It can also help you build muscle and definition in your shoulders.

Cuban Press Variations

If this exercise is too difficult for you, try these easier variations:

  • Unweighted (arms only)
  • With broom handle
  • With band

Cuban Press FAQs

Will Cuban Press hurt your shoulders?

Cuban press is a shoulder exercise that many people enjoy doing. However, it’s not suitable for everyone; if you have any underlying shoulder issues, this exercise may make them worse. So try to replace dumbbells with low-weight weights and only increase the weight if you experience no ill effects. 

Common mistakes beginners will make when doing Cuban Press?

One common mistake people make is going too quickly and using momentum to perform the upright row and press. Instead, slow down and keep this exercise controlled so you can use your shoulders instead of relying on momentum from your torso.

Related Upper Body Exercises

Here are some other lower body exercises that will help you strengthen, sculpt and tone your thighs, hips, legs and glutes:

  • Leg raises
  • Flutter kicks
  • Single leg lunge
  • Lunges

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