Standing Arnold Press

Save and simultaneously kill your shoulders with this old school pressing movement

The Standing Arnold Press. Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, this press is a fantastic shoulder developer and conditioner. Most pressing movements are linear in nature and, while very valuable, if they’re all you do, will likely leave you at some point with shoulder issues. This press trains the all-important rotary strength. Most lack rotary strength due to the predominance of linear, or straight line, movements. Obviously, you’ll be able to see and feel the sheer complexity and demands placed on various parts of your body including critical development of the muscles included in the typically named ‘rotator cuff’.

There’s more though. As you watch the video, notice how my body seems to sway back and forth as the dumbbells move. This is adjusting my centre of gravity as the weight of the dumbbells moves from in front, to back and overhead. It’s important to keep your weight centred squarely over your heels and relax your feet. This allows for a solid, stable base and makes you more powerful.

  • With the dumbbells in front, keep your chest high and forearms pointing directly up and down.
  • Do not rest your arms on your chest, keep tension on the shoulders.
  • Begin to press directly up without letting the chest drop and immediately start bringing the dumbbells apart while rotating and ‘spiral’ them up(start narrow, widen, come back together at top while moving from front to slightly back and overhead).
  • Stay tight in the core so you don’t load up your lower back. Think of lifting your chest while pulling your lower ribs down toward your hips.

This is one of the best shoulder press movements for individuals with shoulder issues who have problems with the typical overhead press.

Restricted shoulder and thoracic spine mobility might inhibit your ability to do this movement perfectly. Foam roll the lats (future video) and do mid-back arches (knees bent) over a roller to improve your ability to achieve natural movement and mobility of the shoulder girdle.

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Posted by Carl Macdonald

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