Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Arnold press is a variation on the conventional [shoulder press](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/shoulder-press-guide). The Arnold presses is defined by a wrist rotation movement that ends when your palms face forward at the top of the press. The Arnold press uses dumbbells to work many of the main muscle groups in your upper body, including the triceps, trapezius, and the delts. \n\nIn particular, the Arnold press is a comprehensive exercise to build shoulder muscles. Unlike other upper body exercises like the lateral raise, military press, and overhead press, the movement of an Arnold press activates all three of the deltoid muscles in your shoulder—the posterior, lateral, and anterior deltoids. \nFor the Arnold press, begin by using a weight that you can control for 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions. Choose a weight that allows you to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.\n\n1. Grab two dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart with a slight bend in your knees. Your posture should be tall with your shoulders directly over your hips and a neutral head and neck position. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin. Distribute your weight evenly along your feet. Grip the floor with your feet to create a stable foot position.\n![MasterClassSEO Arnold Press ONE](//images.contentful.com/3s5io6mnxfqz/7MFcKO3ukkgSCZHiNqyt0u/b34f733ea44671c9e1988cc03ae7e2ee/MasterClassSEO_Arnold_Press_ONE.jpg)\n2. Hold the dumbbells slightly above your shoulders with your palms facing your body and your upper arm close to your ribcage. Your elbows should be pointed toward the floor. All repetitions should begin from this position.\n3. Pre-tension your shoulders and hips while engaging your core.\n![MasterClassSEO Arnold Press TWO](//images.contentful.com/3s5io6mnxfqz/4H8Mfy0vaLr4xscsQzpuus/7027bd2b618afabba1c12b9999119d8f/MasterClassSEO_Arnold_Press_TWO.jpg)\n4. While maintaining proper spinal alignment and a neutral wrist position, initiate the upward movement by moving your elbows out wide and away from your body. As your palms begin to face forward, press the dumbbells overhead. This should occur as one smooth motion. As you press the dumbbells up, your shoulder blades should move naturally with the shoulder joint.\n![MasterClassSEO Arnold Press THREE HERO 5.16.58 PM 2](//images.contentful.com/3s5io6mnxfqz/3f7aiwdIxXkaRn6b735aiy/296c13755cf9365de86240f4b5f1d699/MasterClassSEO_Arnold_Press_THREE_HERO_5.16.58_PM_2.jpg)\n5. At the top of the movement, your arms should be long with a slight bend in your elbows. Your palms should be facing forward. Pause for a second at the top while maintaining distance between the dumbbells. \n6. Begin the downward movement by bending your elbows and pulling with your lats. Rotate your arms until your palms are facing your body. This should occur as one smooth motion, and your upper arms should return to the starting position close to your ribcage. Initiate the next repetition from this starting position.\n\nRemember that the Arnold press is a more advanced variation on the shoulder press. To avoid a shoulder injury, and practice proper form, especially when using heavier weights. If you experience shoulder pain, consult your doctor or a certified personal trainer before continuing the exercise. \n\nIf you have a previous or pre-existing health condition, consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program, but you may need to modify each exercise to attain optimal results based on your individual needs. Always select a weight that allows you to have full control of your body throughout the movement. When performing any exercise, pay close attention to your body, and stop immediately if you note pain or discomfort.\n\nIn order to see continual progress and build body strength, incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program. Your results will ultimately be based on your ability to adequately recover from your workouts. Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.\nThrow on some athleisure, fire up a [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com), and get ready to sweat it out with exclusive instructional videos from Nike Master Trainer and *GQ* fitness specialist Joe Holder. Want to improve your cardiovascular endurance? Give Joe’s HIIT workout a go. Trying to get a little swole? He’s got a strength training workout for that. From fitness tips to nutrition hacks, Joe will have you feeling healthier in no time.\nIf you want to build a comprehensive shoulder workout routine, consider incorporating the Arnold press into your regimen.