Arnold press

Named after the iconic bodybuilder and movie star, the Arnold press adds rotation to a classic shoulder press. It allows the hands to rotate naturally, while also hitting all three heads of the deltoids in one motion. It is usually performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps or more, as part of the upper-body or shoulder-focused portion of a workout.


  1. Great for adding mass to the shoulders
  2. May be more shoulder-friendly than palms-forward presses
  3. Great main movement on shoulder day or accessory move for other presses

Arnold press Images


Arnold press Instructions

Arnold press muscle diagram
  1. Sit on an exercise bench with back support and hold two dumbbells in front of you at about upper chest level with your palms facing your body and your elbows bent. Tip: Your arms should be next to your torso. The starting position should look like the contracted portion of a dumbbell curl.
  2. Now to perform the movement, raise the dumbbells as you rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward.
  3. Continue lifting the dumbbells until your arms are extended above you in straight arm position. Breathe out as you perform this portion of the movement.
  4. After a second pause at the top, begin to lower the dumbbells to the original position by rotating the palms of your hands towards you. Tip: The left arm will be rotated in a counter clockwise manner while the right one will be rotated clockwise. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: You can perform the exercise standing up but that is not recommended for people with lower back issues.