The Arnold Press is an alternative to the standard dumbbell press or military press. It offers many benefits compared to the latter exercises including a larger range of motion and recruitment of more muscle fibers.

It is also beneficial for many people with shoulder injuries because it helps re-establish the movement pattern of the shoulder joint. For these reasons, the Arnold Press is a great addition to your workout routine.

As you may have guessed, it was named after the former governor and even more former international weight lifting champion Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Arnold Press allows you to work the deltoids, trapezius and triceps. The rotation inherent in the exercise activates all three deltoid insertions: anterior, medial and posterior as well as the rotator cuff. In comparison, the military press primarily highlights the medial deltoid and barely engages supplementary muscles. Since the medial and anterior deltoid is also recruited in most chest exercises, this may cause a muscular imbalance resulting in improper posture. The Arnold press can help combat this situation.

Here is a basic 4 step process to performing the Arnold press correctly:

  1. Begin with your hands at chest height, elbows bent, and your palms facing in towards the chest.
  2. As you press the weights, slowly externally rotate your hands.
  3. The lift is complete when your arm is fully extended and your hands are externally rotated.
  4. Remember; hands down, palms in and arms extended, palms out.

If you’re not sure about the form, consult this video.  Be sure to add the Arnold Press to your routine the next time you are in the gym.