Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Standing Arnold Press Instructions

  1. Set up for the exercise by grabbing a pair of dumbbells and standing straight up with your feet around shoulder width apart.
  2. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height on each side, and twist so that your palms are facing your body.
  3. The dumbbells should now be positioned in front of your shoulders. Your back should be straight and there should be a slight bend in your knees. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  4. Keeping your eyes facing forwards, slowly raise the dumbbells above your head while turning your wrists so that your palms are now facing forward (away from your body).  
  5. Keep raising the weight until your arms are almost fully extended.
  6. Do not pause at the top of the movement, and begin lowering the dumbbells back down to the starting position - twisting at the wrist until your palms are facing your body once again.
  7. Repeat this movement for the desired amount of reps.

Arnold Press Tips:

  1. Always use a full range of motion and control the dumbbells throughout the set.
  2. Many lifters let their form go and add weight too quickly. This will at times result in an injury and could hinder your shoulder gains.
  3. If you have lower back problems, it is best to perform this exercise seated, with a back rest.
Peter White
Posted on: Mon, 11/29/2021 - 11:43


Love your site. You list this as a compound exercise yet state there are no secondary muscles used. Wouldn't that make this an isolation exercise?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/29/2021 - 19:28

Hi, Peter, The fact that the shoulder and elbow joints are involved is what makes this a compound movement. However, the triceps will also be involved to an extent. Thanks for pointing that out.