How To: Arnold Press for Rounded Delts

by Allen Gil September 13, 2015

How To: Arnold Press for Rounded Delts

Nothing says “Yes, I do even lift, bro” quite like a pair of bowling ball-sized deltoids sitting on top of your arms, and one of the best ways to achieve shoulder-capped greatness is the Arnold press. This mass-building exercise was pioneered by none other than “The Governator” himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here’s a blow-by-blow guide to unleashing the unbridled fury of the Arnold press next time you train your shoulders.

The idea behind the Arnold press is that it hits all three heads of the deltoid by adding a rotational pattern to the standard dumbbell shoulder press. These three components are the anterior (front), lateral (side), and posterior (rear) deltoid.

Follow the steps below for maximum shoulder growth with the Arnold press.

Step 1.

Start by holding your dumbbells in a supinated grip, resting by the top of your pecs. 

Step 2.

As you initiate the pressing movement, start to rotate your palms inward. Midway through the press, your palms should be facing each other.

Step 3.

Continue the rotation of the hands until the you lock out the press. Your arms should now be fully extended with your hands pronated, just like at the end of a standard shoulder press.

Step 4.

Reverse the rotational pattern and bring the dumbbells back to the top of your chest. 

Step 5. (Optional, but awesome.)

Dress up like Conan the Barbarian and spout off some alpha-sounding movie lines about “crushing your enemies” while you Arnold press your way to greatness.

The best way to incorporate it into a hypertrophy program would be towards the beginning of your workout. Try doing around three sets of the heaviest weight that you can consistently get 8-12 repetitions with. If you already utilize the dumbbell push press in your shoulder routine, try switching it up this week in favor of the Arnold press!

Allen Gil
Allen Gil


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