Arnold Press

The Arnold press is a great twist on the typical overhead press. If you’re looking to increase bulk and size, this is definitely an exercise you should consider adding to your routine! 

The Arnold Press’s Famous Origins

If the name “Arnold press” sounds familiar, that’s because it’s actually named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famous bodybuilder, actor, and politician. 

This exercise is a variation on the overhead press. Invented by Schwarzenegger himself, the purpose of the exercise is to be a more effective way to build bulk and strengthen the shoulders. 

What Does The Arnold Press Actually Do? 

Sometimes referred to as an “Arnold dumbbell press”, this shoulder press variant that involves rotating the shoulders to increase shoulder stability.

The target muscles for this workout focus on the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoids, making for a highly-focused exercise. 

Getting Yourself Prepared For The Arnold Press

To get ready for the Arnold press: 

  1. Make sure that you have the right equipment. This includes two dumbbells, and in some cases a weight bench for support. 
  2. Keep your weightlifting level in mind before trying the exercise. Start with lighter weights, and work your way up as you build strength. 
  3. If you’re using a weight bench, make sure you’re seated and that your back is supported. 

Tackling The Exercise

Ready to start? 

  1. Once seated, grab the dumbbells with your palms facing in. Be sure to bend your knees. 
  2. Gently bring the dumbbells to a resting position on your knees. 
  3. Push the knees up to bring the dumbbells to your chest level. Once here, rotate your palms so they face your body. 
  4. Slowly raise the dumbbells up. While doing so, rotate your palms until they’re fully facing forward. 
  5. Keep the dumbbells pressed up until your arms are fully extended. 
  6. Remain in this position for a count of a few seconds, then lower the weights towards your chest. Remember to repeat the rotating motion. 
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for your desired number of repetitions. 

How The Arnold Press Can Help

Shoulder strength and bulk are just two of the benefits of this unique exercise. 

The Arnold press can help with posture as well as strengthening upper arm and back muscles that might be otherwise overlooked during your exercise routine. 

Ways To Switch Up The Arnold Press During Your Workout

A variant in and of itself, the Arnold press is also great in that there are ways to change the exercise for different workouts. 

  • Try a standing Arnold press to help improve stability, as well as strengthen your back muscles. 
  • If you don’t want to try the rotation, go for a dumbbell overhead press. The process of this is much the same, although this exercise omits the rotation of the standard Arnold press. 

Gain Muscle With The Arnold Press

The variations of this exercise make it accessible for both beginners and more advanced weightlifters. 

If you’re looking to work on your bodybuilding, or even if you’re just trying to add an extra level to your strength-training, the Arnold press is a great way to do so!