Arnold Shoulder Press
Primary Muscle Group: Deltoids
Secondary Muscle Group: Upper Chest, triceps
Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, Weight Bench
The Benefits of Arnold Shoulder Press
As well as hitting all three sections of your delts, the Arnold Shoulder Press recruits a number of stabilising muscles in your Shoulders & back, which is one reason why it’s such a great exercise. The seated Arnold Shoulder Press advantage is that sitting against a bench does help to ensure good form – and it can work your shoulder muscles even harder as a result.
Make sure your back is flat against an exercise bench throughout the movement to ensure it’s your arms and shoulders doing all the work.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Arnold Shoulder Press
The Arnold press is a great move for hitting the shoulder all-around, but, it does put your shoulder at a slight risk of injury. During the exercise you are rotating into ‘internal rotation’ as you press up, a combination that can potentially limit the joint space between humerus and clavicle.
How To Do Arnold Shoulder Press
1. Set up an adjustable angle bench to 90 degrees.
2. Pick up the dumbbells from the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in). Position the end of the dumbbells on your knees and sit down on the bench.
3. Using a safe and controlled motion, kick your knees up one at a time in order to get each dumbbell into place.
4. Once the dumbbells are in place, rotate your palms so they are facing you.
5. Inhale and then press the dumbbells overhead by extending the elbows and contracting the deltoids.
6. As you press, rotate the dumbbells until your palms are facing forward.
7. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position (the arms should be roughly 90 degrees or slightly lower depending upon limb lengths).
For Perfect Technique
Keep your back flat against the pad throughout the duration of the exercise.
Don’t allow the head to move forward excessively.
Drive the bicep to the ear and exhale during the pressing movement.
Keeping the elbows slightly bent at the top and not locking out entirely will help to keep tension on the shoulders.
If you can’t lock out the elbows overhead than it may indicate a lack of shoulder mobility due to poor scapular upward rotation.
Once you have mastered the Arnold Shoulder Press you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Smith Machine Shoulder Press
1. Set up for the smith machine shoulder press by setting a bench down in the smith machine and adjusting the back to a 90 degree angle.
2. Now sit down on the bench and adjust the position so that the bar comfortably comes down just in front of your face.
3. Next, add the weight you want to use and sit down on the bench.
4. Un-rack the weights and bend your elbows slightly. This is the starting position for the movement.
5. Slowly lower the weight down until the bar is just below chin height, pause, and then raise the bar back to the starting position without locking your elbows out at the top of the movement.
How To Do Behind The Head Shoulder Press
1. Sit with the barbell across your traps. Plant your feet on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
2. Grip the bar, hands wider than shoulder-width and palms facing forward. Brace your core and squeeze your shoulder blades together, keeping your elbows under the bar.
3. Exhale and press the bar straight up, lining it up with your head. Pause.
4. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position.