What muscles does the Arnold Press work?

It mainly targets your deltoids (especially the front and sides of your shoulders) but also your trapezius (upper back) and triceps, at the back of your arms.

How to do the Arnold Press?

Whether you’re standing or sat on a bench, ground your feet on the floor and engage your core (imagine drawing your belly button towards your spine) for maximum stability. This will also help you avoid any excessive lumbar curve.

From there, position the dumbbells in front of your shoulders with your palms facing you. As you bring your elbows to your sides, start rotating your palms.

Keep pressing the dumbbells overhead until your elbows are almost fully extended (always keep a slight bend). Then, bring the dumbbells back to the starting position and rotate your wrists (your palms are facing you again).

Video demo

Pro tips

  • At the starting position the dumbbells should be just in front of your collarbones.

  • As you press the dumbbells, imagine that you’re forming an arc above your head with the dumbbells ending up almost touching each other.

How to tell if you’re doing it right?

You feel it at the front of your shoulders and it doesn’t hurt your wrists. If it does then you might be bending your wrists and need to check your grip.