The Arnold Press

arnold press
Exercise Profile

Primary Muscle Group(s): Shoulders (Front and Side)

Secondary Muscle Group(s): Trapezius

Exercise Instructions

1. In a seated position with your feet firmly planted on the floor, grasp two dumbbells with both hands.

2. Curl the weight up to the shoulder area. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level with palms facing the body . Keep your back straight and your head up.

3. In a controlled fashion, slowly press the dumbbells simultaneously upwards and rotate your hands forward until you have fully extended your arms upwards. Slowly lower the weight down and repeat the movement.

4. Remember, the real trick to the Arnold press is not the upwards motion but the downwards motion. The real work of this exercise occurs when you return the weight to it's starting position. Really concentrate on the negative portion of this movement for maximum effect.


The Arnold press is an invention of the great Arnold Schwarzenegger. This exercise targets both, the front and side deltoids.

An interesting exercise because of the movement involved. As you start the exercise with your palms facing inwards, you press up and mid way through the movement, you twist your hands until your palms are facing outwards at the top of the movement.

The beginning of the movement really hits the front deltoids hard. As the palms are twisted outwards, the movement starts to hit the front and side deltoids.

It is vitally important that you understand the mechanics and technique for this exercise. Start with light weight and get a feel for this exercise before you go heavier

Press play to view an instructional video.

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