Arnold Press

How to Arnold Press: Top 5 Tips

Take a leaf out of the great Arnold Schwarzenegger's training book if you are looking to grow some big strong shoulders and add in the Arnold Press. The exercise he used within his own training to add some serious size to those shoulders. By adding in the rotation of the palms the movement helps recruit a wider spread of muscles around the shoulder joint.

Purpose of the movement:

The Arnold Press is used as on overhead press movement to help hit more of the lateral side of the deltoid and the rotation of the hands also brings into play the rotator cuff. The variation of the military press helps activate many of the smaller stabilising muscles at the shoulder joint.

Muscles involved:

The primary muscle involved for this movement:

  • Deltoid
  • Triceps
  • Lots of other muscles playing a role in stabilisation the shoulder throughout the movement

    Equipment needed:

    To perform the Arnold Press exercise the equipment you will need:

    • Dumbbells
    • Adjustable Bench

    Step by Step guide:

    Follow our step by step guide to master the Arnold Press:

    1. Set the adjustable bench to the correct height, nearly vertical.
    2. Sitting on the bench with the dumbbells on your knees, use your knees to help lift the weight up to your chest.
    3. With palms facing in towards your body in the start position
    4. Press the weight up above your head, as you are pressing rotation your palms so they are now facing away from the body.
    5. Pause for one second at the top then control the weight back down, rotating palms to be back facing your body at the bottom position.

    Top 5 Tips:

    1. Make sure bench is set at correct height and angle
    2. Do not round through your spine in the top position
    3. Keep feet planted on the ground throughout the movement
    4. Breathe out when pressing the weight, and in when lowering the weight
    5. Control the movement of the palms at all times


    The Arnold Press can be a great tool to increase the strength and size of your shoulders when performed correctly.

    If you do experience any pain through the shoulder in this movement, try on an incline bench or do not perform it all.

    Recommended accessories:

    Spartans Apparel



    Rule 1 - Protein

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