How to do an Arnold Dumbbell Press

Authored by Fitbod

About Arnold Dumbbell Press

Sets Logged
Popularity Rank
Shoulders Strength
97 mSCORE 9th
Equipment Required
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles

Instructions: How To

Arnold Dumbbell Press is a compound movement that primarily targets the shoulders. The difference between the Arnold Press and a standard Shoulder Press is that you bring the dumbbells in front of you at the bottom of the movement rather than stopping when they reach your shoulders. Bringing the dumbbells in front of you can be more a comfortable movement as well as improve muscle activation.

  1. Sit upright on a bench with the incline set to 90 degrees or slightly lower positioning a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms facing in towards your body.
  2. Begin with your elbows to your sides and keep your shoulders back before you begin to extend your arms overhead.
  3. While you extend your arms overhead, slowly rotate your palms until you are at full extension and your palms are facing away from your body aligned with your ears.
  4. Descend the dumbbells back down to your shoulders as you rotate your palms back to the starting position.

Performance Tips

  • What's the difference between Arnold press and dumbbell press?

    The Arnold press involves rotating your palms from facing your body to facing forward as you press overhead, targeting the front deltoids and upper chest. The dumbbell press is a straightforward press with palms facing forward throughout, primarily targeting the middle deltoids.

  • What's the difference between Arnold Press and Dumbbell Press?

    The Arnold press involves rotating your wrists as you press the weights overhead, engaging more muscle groups and improving shoulder mobility. The dumbbell shoulder press is a simpler movement with no wrist rotation, focusing primarily on building shoulder strength.

Common Mistakes

  • Leaning Back

    Leaning back can help you lift a bit more weight, or finish off a difficult set. However, it also reduces the effectiveness of the exercise, and increases the risk of injury. Keep your back straight, core engaged, and gaze forward to help prevent this.

  • Always Sitting

    Performing this exercise while seated adds stability to the movement. You don’t need to focus on keeping your balance, or stabilizing your body. This allows you to focus more on exertion, which is great, but make sure you’re including some standing variations as well. This will help highlight and address some instability you may have with this movement.

Sets & Reps: How many to do

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