Devil Presses: What You Need to Know About CrossFit

CrossFit is an intense fitness program that combines elements of weightlifting, gymnastics and cardio. It’s one of the most popular ways to get in shape and stay fit, but it can be quite challenging for beginners. One particular CrossFit exercise that has been gaining traction lately is the devil press, which works multiple muscle groups at once. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what exactly devil presses are, as well as their benefits, how to do them properly and other important considerations. Read on to find out more!

What Are Devil Presses?

Devil presses are a type of overhead pressing movement used in CrossFit workouts. The primary muscles involved are the shoulders, triceps, lats and core muscles. During the exercise, you start by holding two dumbbells or kettlebells close together with your palms facing each other. You then use your arms to drive the weights up over your head while maintaining good form. As you press the weights up, you should keep your torso engaged and stand tall throughout the entire motion.

Muscles Used During Devil Presses

The main muscle group targeted when performing devil presses is the shoulder complex. This includes the deltoids (anterior, posterior and lateral heads), as well as the trapezius and rhomboids. Additionally, the core muscles and latissimus dorsi (lats) are also engaged during the movement.

Form Tips For Doing Devil Presses Properly

One of the most important aspects of doing devil presses correctly is proper form. To ensure optimal results, make sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart and pointing straight ahead. Additionally, keep your back flat and chest up during the movement so that your torso stays engaged throughout the lift. Lastly, avoid rounding your shoulders at any point during the exercise.

Benefits Of Doing Devil Presses

There are numerous benefits associated with incorporating devil presses into your workout routine. Firstly, they work several major muscle groups at once, making them an efficient full body exercise. Secondly, since they target the core muscles along with the shoulders, they can help improve balance and coordination. Thirdly, they’re a great way to build strength and power in your upper body. Finally, because they require control and concentration, they can also help develop mental toughness.

Common Variations Of Devil Presses

While the traditional devil press involves lifting two separate weights, there are many variations of the exercise available depending on individual preferences and abilities. Some common alternatives include single arm versions, as well as sumo deadlift high pulls, which involve standing in a wider stance than usual and pulling the weight up instead of pushing it overhead. Additionally, if necessary, you can substitute standard barbells or kettlebells for medicine balls to increase intensity levels.

devil presses crossfit

Beginner’s Guide To Incorporating Devil Presses Into A Workout Routine

If you’re just starting out with CrossFit training, it’s important to incorporate devil presses into your regular workout routine gradually. Start by focusing on technique first before progressing to heavier loads or adding additional repetitions. When selecting weights, make sure to pick something that feels comfortable yet still provides enough resistance to challenge you adequately. Lastly, remember to rest between sets to ensure proper recovery time for your muscles and prevent fatigue.

Safety Tips When Doing Devil Presses

It’s always important to practice safety when doing devil presses, especially if you have limited mobility or joint problems. Before beginning the exercise, make sure to warm up thoroughly with some dynamic stretches and light movements such as walking or jogging. Also, check that all equipment is secure and properly set up before attempting the lift. Additionally, listen to your body and stop if you experience pain or discomfort at any point during the movement.

Modifications For People With Limited Mobility

For people who may not be able to perform devil presses with full range of motion due to physical limitations, there are modifications available. These include using bands instead of weights or reducing the range of motion to suit individual needs. Additionally, if possible, try using lighter weights initially until you feel more comfortable with the exercise.

How To Progress To Advanced Levels Of Devil Presses

Once you’ve mastered basic techniques and become familiar with the exercise, you can begin introducing more advanced variations into your routine. This could involve increasing reps per set or switching from dumbbells/kettlebells to barbells for increased resistance. Additionally, consider incorporating supersets into your workout where you combine different exercises into one circuit for added difficulty.


In conclusion, devil presses are a fantastic exercise for developing overall upper body strength and power. Not only do they work multiple muscle groups at once, but they also promote improved balance and coordination thanks to engaging the core muscles. Furthermore, there are various modifications available for those with limited mobility or joint issues. Ultimately, anyone looking to take their CrossFit training up a notch should definitely give devil presses a try!

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