Arnold Press Exercise Guide & Video

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Watch Arnold Press

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Step 1. With your elbows at your side and the weights in front of you at shoulder height, press the weights above your head, rotating your palms outward as you do. Exhale throughout the pressing motion.

Step 2. Hold at the top of the motion. Reverse the motion, rotating your palms back inward and lowering the weight back down in front to shoulder height. This motion should be strict and there should be no motion in your back.


Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Arnold press is a more complex version of the dumbbell shoulder press. Whereas a regular shoulder press works the frontal deltoids with a small secondary tricep work at the top, this exercise works both the frontal and lateral deltoids. To accomplish this, the exercise involves a longer motion than the regular shoulder press. This can make it a tougher motion for first time users. Until you are comfortable with the longer motion, use a lower weight. Once the motion can be performed smoothly, you can raise the weight. Depending on the rep range and weight used, the Arnold press can be used as a strength building exercise or a shaping and developing one. To focus more on the shoulders and less on the triceps, stop just short of locking out at the top of your reps.

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Updated: March 30th, 2015