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Arnold Press

Everyone knows that the best exercises are strength training to gain muscle and build massive shoulders, but few people have heard of the Arnold Press. It is a variant that has been popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger that no longer presents; he is in bodybuilding what Tyson is to boxing!

The Arnold Press is an interesting exercise that can help you in the development of your shoulders because it will work them in a different way. Of course, it focuses on the front of the shoulders, a part that intervenes a lot in most exercises of bodybuilding of the torso, so that a priori does not need to linger. But it allows to vary a little training and work differently, including muscle coordination.

It’s up to you to see and test the difference from more classic moves. On the other hand, do not be surprised if in the gym you are asked the question: “But why do you turn the dumbbells?” At least you’ll know something else than “I’m shaping my shoulders like Arnold”.

How To Make Arnold Press

1. Starting position

  • Set the bench seat flat and raise the backrest almost vertically.
  • Take a dumbbell in each hand, sit down, then let the dumbbells rest on the thighs.
  • Lay your feet flat on the floor, legs apart, to be stable.
  • Lift the dumbbells and place them facing the top of the pecs, palms of the hands facing them and elbows bent.
  • The arms and elbows should be against the body.

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2. Execution of the movement

– Lift the dumbbells

  • Lift the dumbbells slowly over your shoulders.
  • During the climb, the wrists should rotate so that the palms of the hand are facing each other at the top of the movement.
  • Continue lifting the dumbbells until they are over the head, arms almost stretched, without locking the elbows.
  • Pause for one to two seconds at the top of the movement to maintain contraction.

– Get off the dumbbells

  • Go down very slowly, controlling the dumbbells to return to the starting position.
  • Perform the reverse movement of the climb by performing a new rotation of the wrists.

Why make Arnold Press?

The developed Arnold is used to optimize the work of the anterior beam of the deltoid.

You will also recruit during this movement, the clavicular part of the pecs.

However, the loads used here will be less important than on a dumbbell developed, or a military developed.

This can be interesting to limit the risk of injury by focusing on a good performance technique based on your own abilities.

Targeted Muscles

The movement is quite complex and solicits the entire shoulder. Of course, the front of the shoulder works a lot but other secondary muscles such as the external devoid (side of the shoulder), the triceps, the trapezium, and the clavicle portion of the pecs are also solicited.

At the beginning of the movement, with the supine hold, the front of the shoulder does most of the work. By climbing the dumbbells and moving the elbows away, the stress is transferred to the side beaming of the shoulder.

And at the end of the movement, arms outstretched and hands in pronation, it is the side and the rear of shouldering that are put to contribution.

Finally, Arnold Press is a fairly complete movement that works even at the top of the pecs at the beginning of the movement. And like all well developed, it also involves the muscles of the arms (triceps), trapezium, and other muscles that serve to stabilize the movement.

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Safety Instructions

The Arnold Press takes time before being mastered. It is useless to add it to its routine if it is to make it a poorly executed version; as much to stay on the classic with the developed sitting with the dumbbells and not to waste his time with unnecessary rotations.

First, do it in front of ice cream to monitor your technique and performance. To do this, do not tilt the bench too much and keep your head upright, otherwise, your gaze will go to the ceiling or the dumbbells. Rotate, neither too early to go nor too late to return.

To get there, focus on the middle of the movement. The palms of the hands should face each other in a semi-pronation position. At this moment, the arms and forearms form a right angle and the arms are parallel to the ground, a bit like a double biceps.

The developed Arnold is a technical exercise: do not choose heavyweights. Start with light weights to master the exercise perfectly.

Do not lock the elbows at the top of the movement: the orientation of the palms is not adapted to this movement.


Exhale by pushing upwards and inhaling during the descent. In heavy mode, one must maneuver with breathing to solidify the bust. In this case, you must hold your breath and exhale at the end of the movement, once past the blocking point.


  • Developed military standing with dumbbells.
  • Developed military seated with dumbbells.
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