Find out how to Do the Arnold Press: Type Information & Variations

Find out how to Do the Arnold Press: Type Information & Variations

The Arnold press is a twist (pun meant) on the dumbbell shoulder press that was popularized by the enduring bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Within the dumbbell Arnold press, you start the train along with your palms going through you after which rotate your palms away out of your physique as you press the load overhead.

In accordance with the Austrian Oak, this makes the Arnold shoulder press more practical at coaching the lateral (facet) delts than the normal dumbbell overhead press.

Like different overhead urgent workouts, the Arnold dumbbell press additionally trains the anterior (entrance) delts, triceps, and traps, which makes it an efficient train for creating your whole higher physique, in addition to growing your overhead and bench press power.

So, if you would like stronger, extra developed shoulders, this text is for you.

In it, you’ll be taught what the Arnold press is, the muscular tissues labored by the Arnold press, correct Arnold press kind, and find out how to do Arnold press variations together with the standing Arnold press, the single-arm Arnold press, the alternating Arnold press, and extra.

What Is an Arnold Press?

The Arnold press—also called the “Arnold dumbbell press,” “Arnold shoulder press,” or “DB Arnold press”— is a variation of the shoulder press that was invented by seven-time Mr. Olympia winner, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Arnold press could be carried out seated or standing, however most individuals discover the seated variation is extra comfy and permits them to elevate extra weight. That’s why I do that train seated and suggest the identical in my packages for males and girls.

Arnold Press vs. Shoulder Press

Within the Arnold press, you start and finish every rep by holding the dumbbells in entrance of your shoulders along with your palms going through your torso (fairly than on both facet of your shoulders, as you do in the course of the dumbbell overhead press). Then, as you press the dumbbells upward, you rotate your palms away out of your physique so that you just finish in the identical place because the dumbbell overhead press. 

With this small change the Arnold press trains your facet delts greater than the shoulder press, however you possibly can’t elevate as a lot weight. Thus, I have a look at the Arnold press as an efficient (and pleasing) option to prepare your shoulders after you’ve already carried out a number of different workouts that help you use heavier weights just like the barbell overhead press, dumbbell overhead press, or push press.

An efficient manner to do that is to incorporate 2-to-3 units of the Arnold press in your push, upper-body, or shoulder exercises after one other overhead urgent train.

Right here’s how this may look:

  • Overhead press: 3 units of 4-to-6 reps
  • Arnold Press: 3 units of 6-to-8 reps
  • Dumbbell Facet Lateral Increase: 3 units of 6-to-8 reps
  • Dumbbell Rear Lateral Increase: 3 units of 6-to-8 reps

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Arnold Press: Muscle mass Labored

Though the Arnold press is usually considered purely a shoulder train, it trains lots of the largest higher physique muscle teams

Particularly, the principle muscular tissues labored by the Arnold press are the . . .

. . . and it additionally stimulates the abs, biceps, forearms and serratus anterior to a lesser diploma, too.

Right here’s a graphic displaying the principle muscular tissues concerned within the train:


Arnold Press: Muscles Worked


Arnold Press Type Information


Arnold Press Form Guide


One of the best ways to be taught find out how to do the Arnold press is to separate the train into three phases: arrange, press, and descend.

Step 1: Set Up

Whereas sitting on an upright bench, maintain a dumbbell in every hand and relaxation them in your thighs. Elevate your knees to assist push the dumbbells upward and maintain them simply above your shoulders along with your palms going through towards your torso.

Drive your toes into the ground in order that your mid and higher again is pressed in opposition to the backrest, push your chest out, and pull your shoulder blades down and collectively (a superb cue for that is to think about pulling your shoulder blades into your again pockets).

Step 2: Press

Press the dumbbells straight up over your head whereas rotating your palms away out of your face till your arms are straight and your palms are going through away from you.

Bear in mind to maintain your shoulder blades “again and down” and your toes on the ground. Maintain your mid and higher again pressed into the backrest, and keep away from excessively arching your decrease again or letting your butt scoot ahead on the bench.

Step 3: Descent

Reverse the motion to return the dumbbells to their beginning place in entrance of your shoulders. That is principally a mirror picture of what you probably did in the course of the press.

The Greatest Arnold Press Variations

Standing Arnold Press

The standing Arnold press develops your whole-body stability and coordination and improves your upper-body power and chest, shoulder, and triceps measurement. Though the standing Arnold press tends to work properly for people who find themselves new to the Arnold press, most discover they should swap to the seated Arnold press as they get stronger and start to make use of heavier dumbbells.

Find out how to:

  1. Arise straight with a dumbbell in every hand. 
  2. Hoist the dumbbells up so that you’re holding them in entrance of your shoulders along with your palms going through towards your physique. 
  3. Press the dumbbells straight up over your head whereas rotating your palms away out of your physique till your arms are straight.
  4. Reverse the motion and return to the beginning place.

Single-Arm Arnold Press

The single-arm Arnold press trains your shoulders the identical manner because the common Arnold press. Nevertheless, since you employ one weight at a time, your core has to work a lot tougher to stabilize your torso, which makes this a greater ab and core train. (Once more, although, this additionally reduces how a lot weight you possibly can press, so don’t depend on this as your solely urgent train).

Find out how to: 

  1. Whereas sitting on an upright bench, maintain a dumbbell in your proper hand and relaxation it in your thigh.
  2. Nudge the dumbbell upward along with your thigh and hoist it up so that you’re holding it simply in entrance of your proper shoulder along with your palm going through towards your physique.
  3. Press the dumbbell straight up over your head whereas rotating your palm till your arm is straight and your palm is going through away from you.
  4. Reverse the motion and return to the beginning place.
  5. When you’ve accomplished the specified variety of reps, swap sides and repeat the method along with your left arm.

Alternating Arnold Press

Within the alternating Arnold press you press one dumbbell at a time whereas holding the opposite in entrance of your shoulder. This permits the shoulder that isn’t urgent to relaxation a second between every rep, which regularly means that you can elevate a bit extra weight than the usual Arnold press.

Find out how to: 

  1. Whereas sitting on an upright bench, maintain a dumbbell in every hand and relaxation them in your thighs.
  2. Nudge the dumbbells upward along with your thighs and hoist them up so that you’re holding them simply in entrance of your shoulders along with your palms going through towards your physique.
  3. Press the dumbbell in your proper hand straight up over your head whereas rotating your palm till your proper arm is straight and your palm is going through away from you.
  4. Reverse the motion, return to the beginning place, after which repeat the motion along with your left hand.
  5. Proceed to alternate between your proper and left facet for the specified variety of reps.

Incline Arnold Press

The incline Arnold press is an Arnold press, incline dumbbell press, and reverse-grip bench press hybrid. Due to the angle of the bench and the best way your fingers are positioned on the backside of every rep, it’s efficient at coaching the higher pecs, nevertheless it doesn’t prepare the facet delts fairly in addition to the common Arnold press. Whereas I wouldn’t say it’s superior to the incline dumbbell press or customary Arnold press, it’s a viable various.

Find out how to: 

  1. Whereas mendacity on a bench that’s angled at about 45 levels, maintain a dumbbell in every hand and relaxation them in your thighs. 
  2. Lie again and nudge the dumbbells upward along with your thighs, then hoist them up so that you’re holding them on both facet of your chest along with your palms going through towards your physique.
  3. Press the dumbbells straight up over your higher chest whereas rotating your palms till your arms are straight and your palms are going through away from you.
  4. Reverse the motion and return to the beginning place.

Kettlebell Arnold Press

When you don’t have dumbbells otherwise you’re simply wanting to boost your coaching, attempt the kettlebell Arnold press

Find out how to: 

  1. Place two kettlebells on the ground a couple of foot in entrance of you and stand along with your toes simply outdoors of shoulder-width aside. Bend over on the hips and seize one kettlebell in every hand along with your thumbs pointing towards the wall behind you and your palms going through out to the edges (it’ll really feel awkward in the beginning of the train).
  2. Brace your core and elevate the kettlebells a couple of foot off the ground into roughly a half-deadlift place. Explosively drive by your hips and hoist the kettlebells upward.
  3. Because the kettlebells rise, rotate your wrists in order that your palms face towards one another, then convey your elbows tight to your sides and your knuckles collectively underneath your chin with the kettlebells resting in your biceps and forearms.
  4. Rotate your wrists barely inward in order that your palms are going through one another.
  5. Sit on a flat bench (you should utilize an upright bench for those who favor, although the backrest may get in the best way of the kettlebells as you press them), drive your toes into the ground, push your chest out, and pull your shoulder blades down and again.
  6. Press the kettlebells straight up over your head whereas rotating your wrists till your arms are straight and your palms are going through away from you.
  7. Reverse the motion and return to the beginning place.

+ Scientific References

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