The Arnold Press – named after possibly the most famous bodybuilder of all time – is a combination overhead pressing exercise that is a great way to develop your shoulders.
Arnold Schwarzenegger developed the move while experimenting with ways to spark new shoulder growth, and found that the rotational movement better targets your front delts than conventional overhead presses.
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Front and side
The Arnold Press targets both the front (anterior) and side (lateral) aspects of your deltoids, for fuller, rounder shoulder muscles.
The rotational movement, when executed correctly, delivers a lateral raise-like movement, with a shoulder press, for a comprehensive exercise for the shoulders.
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How to do it
Sit on a bench or chair holding dumbbells in either hand. Position the dumbbells in front of your shoulders, with your palms facing your body, and your elbows under wrists.
The movement: Rotate your elbows out to your sides. As you do so, press the dumbbells overhead until your arms are directly overhead. Lower the dumbbells back down to the shoulders, then rotate your elbows inward until the dumbbells are back in front of your shoulders. Repeat for the required reps.
- Avoid locking your elbows out at the top of the movement to keep the focus on your shoulders.
- It is important to lead the rotational movement with your elbows, not your forearms, to emphasise shoulder abduction.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.
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