Arnold Press

The Arnold press, named for Arnold Schwarzenegger who created the exercise, is a great shoulder exercise for developing strength, balance, and mobility in the shoulder.

Arnold Press

Primary Muscles Used

Muscles Used in Arnold press Exercise

Arnold Press Instructions

  • For the Arnold press you can use a bench with a back support, but I prefer sitting on a bench with no back support, that way I have to focus on keeping my stomach and core tight.  You can't go as heavy with no back support, but you will get a better workout.
  1. Hold the dumbbells on your knees to start, then kick them up into a normal shoulder press position, with your arms at 90 degrees and the dumbbells level with your ears.
  2. From that point bring your elbows and dumbbells out in front of you, so you are looking right at the dumbbells.
  3. Press up slowly rotating the dumbbells as you lift the weights.  The dumbbells should rotate as you are pushing up in one fluid motion, do not press up and then rotate.
  4. As the dumbbell reach the top your palms should be facing forward and you should bring the dumbbells together.
  5. Slowly bring the dumbbells down and rotate them as you are bringing them down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Benefits of the Arnold Press

  • This exercise works the deltoid muscle of the shoulder. In addition to increasing shoulder strength, by sitting up straight without a back support engages the core for stability throughout the movement.
  • Performing this move also helps identify whether you have an imbalance in shoulder strength.  When you have a dumbbell in each arm you can easily identify if there is an imbalance as one arm will be able to do more than the other.
  • Because of the rotation during the lift, you are able to hit more parts of your shoulder with one lift, making the lift more effective than a standard shoulder press.
  • Arnold ended up with pretty big shoulders, maybe we should listen to him.
  • Having strong shoulders help the stabilization of your upper back, helping with posture and every day tasks.
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