HomeSri Lanka CricketArnold Press vs. Shoulder Press: Variations, Professionals, Cons

Arnold Press vs. Shoulder Press: Variations, Professionals, Cons

arnold press vs. shoulder press

The Arnold press is a unbelievable shoulder train, and like different shoulder presses, it may be a staple in any strong coaching program. With most workouts, there could be many variations. Right here, we’re taking a look at two of the classics; the Arnold press and the usual shoulder press. 

Each of those workouts share lots of the identical traits. Nonetheless, we are able to dig deeper and establish a few of the distinctive advantages of each variations of the overhead press. 

So what are the variations between the Arnold press vs. the shoulder press? The Arnold press and shoulder press goal the identical muscle teams. However the Arnold press requires further shoulder rotation and motion and permits for potential will increase in muscular hypertrophy. The shoulder press requires much less motion and is healthier for power beneficial properties. 

It is very important word that there’s by no means a “higher” train; there’s simply the fitting train for the fitting job. Each the Arnold dumbbell shoulder press and common shoulder press are best workouts that may be part of any coaching program. However earlier than we begin coaching, let’s have a look at a few of the variations. 

Variations Between the Arnold Press and Shoulder Press

After we evaluate the shoulder press vs. the Arnold press, there are 4 distinct variations:

  • Main muscle tissues focused
  • Motion within the shoulders and arms
  • Weight/depth
  • Coaching objectives 

1. Main Muscle tissues Focused

Each workouts goal the identical muscle tissues within the arms, shoulders, and higher again. The principle distinction right here is predicated on the execution of every motion.

I’ll cowl the specifics in a bit, however the Arnold press will goal the anterior deltoids extra in addition to embrace extra of the higher again. 

2. Motion within the Shoulders and Arms

Regardless of being very related, the Arnold press is way extra of a singular train when in comparison with the usual shoulder press. It requires extra motion of the shoulder, arms, and higher again to correctly full a repetition.

When performing the Arnold press, you begin with the dumbbells at your shoulders and your palms dealing with behind you, then rotate your arms in order that your palms face ahead as you press the burden up. As you decrease the burden, you rotate your arms once more till the dumbbells are again at your shoulders and palms face behind you once more.

Alternatively, the shoulder press requires you to press the burden up in a straight line with out rotating your arms.

3. Weight/Depth

Weight and coaching depth is at all times relative to the person. On this case, “relative” signifies that what’s heavy for one individual won’t be heavy for another person. Or, it might rely in your coaching objectives. 

In most circumstances, the Arnold press might be a lighter train when in comparison with the shoulder press. 

4. Coaching Targets

Identical to selecting weight, coaching objectives will, in fact, be decided by the person. Based mostly on the earlier variations, the Arnold press may help profit muscular hypertrophy, whereas the shoulder press can profit power. 

Arnold Press: How To, Muscle tissues Labored, Suggestions, Frequent Errors, Advantages, and Drawbacks

Arnold Press: How To Do It

For the Arnold press, you’re restricted to utilizing dumbbells, and the one alternative you’ll want to make (apart from the quantity of weight you select) is whether or not or not you need to stay standing or seated. If we select to carry out the workouts seated, this may be performed with and with out again assist. 

That stated, the Arnold press is normally carried out seated and with some kind of again assist, permitting you to elevate extra weight since you’re in a much more secure place. Taking away the again assist or selecting to face up as a substitute will make the train tougher and will take away a few of the hypertrophy advantages. 

In my view, the most well-liked type of this train is seated with again assist, so that’s how I outlined the steps beneath. (No matter your alternative, the steps stay largely the identical). 

Step 1: Select your weight and modify a bench in order that the again is totally upright

Earlier than getting began, choose the suitable weight (bear in mind, you must use dumbbells right here) and discover a fastened seated bench or an adjustable bench (you need assist in your higher again). 

Deciding on weight is set by the coaching purpose and is normally a share of a one rep max (1RM) or represented by the charge of perceived exertion (RPE).

I might not suggest performing a 1RM for the Arnold press. As an alternative, it will be safer and simpler to make use of RPE. RPE is a straightforward scale from 1-10 (one being the simplest, 10 being the toughest) of how difficult a weight feels for you. In case your purpose is hypertrophy and/or power, you ought to be in an RPE of seven or above. 

Step 2: Curl your arms in order that the dumbbells are at your shoulders along with your palms dealing with you 

That is the place the variations between the Arnold press vs. the overhead press come into play. For the Arnold press, the beginning place requires a a lot nearer grip than your typical shoulder press, and the palms ought to face you fairly than dealing with in or out (this is named supination). 

Step 3: Press the dumbbells overhead as you rotate your arms in order that your palms face ahead on the prime

Like several overhead press train, the purpose right here is to boost the burden over your head and totally prolong the elbows. As you press, you will have to rotate your arms in order that your palms are dealing with ahead on the prime of the repetition.

Step 4: Return to the beginning place by reducing your arms and rotating your palms in order that they face you once more

When prepared, you will have to return to the beginning place. Management the descent and ensure to observe the identical path. It’s best to end the repetition in the identical spot you began it, which suggests you will have to rotate as you come down (bear in mind, palms dealing with in the direction of you). 

Step 5: Repeat till you’ve accomplished all of the repetitions

From there, proceed the train for the specified quantity of repetitions. 

Arnold Press: Muscle tissues Labored 

Unsurprisingly, the Arnold press is primarily a shoulder (anterior deltoid), chest (pectoralis main), and arm (triceps) train. Since this variation requires extra motion, you see extra activation of your higher again muscle tissues as properly (trapezius and rhomboids).

Total, the Arnold press targets the next muscle tissues:

The anterior deltoid and triceps are the heavy lifters for this train. They’re answerable for transferring the burden overhead. The pecs will help within the motion however is not going to play as massive of a task. The traps and rhomboids will primarily help firstly of the train when you must rotate the burden again.

Arnold Press: Advantages

arnold press benefits

Is the Arnold press a very good train? Sure, and there are various explanation why.

Due to the elevated motion requirement, the Arnold press could make a unbelievable warm-up train for different heavy overhead actions

This identical motion requirement may also make it a great alternative in case your purpose is muscular hypertrophy. For the reason that Arnold press requires the burden to sit down in entrance of the physique, there’s extra weight pulling the arms ahead. This requires the shoulder (the anterior deltoid) to work even tougher — nearly like you’re doing a small entrance increase with every rep. 

This ties instantly into the elevated vary of movement as properly. The extra you possibly can transfer your focused muscle tissues, the higher the atmosphere for hypertrophy. 

Sometimes, the Arnold press doesn’t require as a lot weight (as a result of complexity). Due to this fact, it might normally be accomplished with lighter weight. This could additionally make it a strong alternative when attempting to carry out a burnout set (performing a set till exhaustion).

Arnold Press: Drawbacks

There aren’t any rapid “adverse” drawbacks. It comes all the way down to the person and what they’re able to. I might, nonetheless, contemplate the next (with any train, actually):

Anytime you add one thing to an train, you improve the complexity, which might be a development. The Arnold press can be a development of the usual overhead press since you’re required to rotate the burden as you press. This added complexity means the Arnold press is extra superior and might not be the only option for newcomers

As talked about, the Arnold press sometimes requires a lighter weight than an ordinary shoulder press. This implies in case your purpose is power, you won’t be capable of elevate the identical quantity of weight. 

One other disadvantage is the shortage of selection in gear. The Arnold press can solely be carried out with dumbbells

We additionally want to think about shoulder mobility and any present or previous shoulder accidents. Many individuals ask, “Is the Arnold press unhealthy for shoulders?” Whereas any train could be unhealthy for those who don’t do it correctly, the Arnold press is one motion specifically that might not be an acceptable train for these with a historical past of shoulder points.

Arnold Press: Frequent Errors

On the subject of frequent errors for any train, it comes all the way down to weight. While you determine to carry out the Arnold press, you’ll want to ensure you select an acceptable weight. More often than not (particularly if the purpose is power), folks will attempt to Arnold press the identical as they’ll shoulder press. 

One other frequent mistake can be turning the Arnold press into a standard shoulder press. This normally occurs when you possibly can now not Arnold press the burden you may have chosen. 

One other frequent mistake is permitting the burden to drop too far on the beginning place. This place could be difficult to keep up. Be sure to don’t let the elbows drop too far for the reason that weight will need to drop, too. 

Lastly, be careful for an overarched again. That is one thing frequent in all types of shoulder urgent, regardless of the variation. Don’t get me improper, a slight arch just isn’t a foul factor, you simply must ensure you don’t exaggerate it.  

Arnold Press: Programming Concerns 

The primary consideration to make right here is to suppose “larger reps, decrease weight.” In fact, this may be relative to the person, however it’s at all times a strong beginning spot for the Arnold press. I might say the principle purpose for the Arnold press is muscular hypertrophy, so you’ll at all times profit from a barely larger rep vary (sometimes within the 8-12 vary)

As talked about earlier, you can too think about using the Arnold press as a warm-up train for bench presses or different overhead urgent actions.

This may be carried out at first of your exercise previous to different overhead actions. For instance, earlier than a heavy bench press or standing shoulder press, you possibly can carry out a few Arnold press units to heat up your shoulders and arms. 

If the Arnold press is simply too difficult for you, attempt one among these Arnold press options as a substitute.

Shoulder Press: How To, Muscle tissues Labored, Suggestions, Frequent Errors, Advantages, and Drawbacks


When organising for the shoulder press, you positively have some choices. First, contemplate the place you’ll carry out the train and what sort of weight you’ll use. The 2 commonest types of shoulder press are the standing barbell shoulder press and the seated dumbbell shoulder press. 

We are going to cowl each of those variations beneath. The setups are fairly common, which means there’s a number of carryover between the setup for those who determine to vary the kind of weight (i.e., you determine to do a standing dumbbell press or a seated barbell press). 

Be taught extra about whether or not you need to do the shoulder press standing or sitting in Is It Higher to Do Shoulder Presses Standing or Sitting?

Standing Barbell Shoulder Press: How To Do It

Step 1: Load a barbell along with your desired weight 

For the standing barbell press, I like to recommend organising in a energy rack or a squat rack/stand. This permits the usage of security bars since it may be troublesome and probably unsafe to have a spotter right here. With the security bars in place, you may have someplace for the bar to go in case you can’t full a rep. 

If a spotter is required, I extremely suggest they’re no less than as tall and as sturdy as you. They will additionally act as a information, offering cues and guaranteeing the area round you is obvious (spotters don’t at all times must bodily assist). 

For the burden, I like to recommend choosing an acceptable barbell. I desire using a stiffer energy bar (normally indicated by a middle patch of knurling and solely a single marking on both sides of the barbell shaft). Weight is relative to the person. The typical barbell weight is 20 kg or 45 lbs, however different barbells are lighter. 

Step 2: Seize the barbell along with your arms simply outdoors the shoulders, unrack it, and take a couple of steps again

For the standing shoulder press, begin along with your arms simply outdoors shoulder width and elbows tucked into your sides (at about 45 levels). Ensure that your ft are firmly planted into the ground at no matter distance is comfy for you. Supporting the burden on this place could be an train all in itself (it could resemble a entrance squat place). 

Step 3: Transfer your head again barely and push the barbell overhead

When urgent with a barbell, contemplate the bar path since your head might be in the best way.

When you begin to press overhead, transfer your head barely again in order that the bar can transfer straight up. As soon as the bar has handed, drive your head again ahead (typically known as transferring your head by the window).

Like several shoulder press, the press ends when your arms are totally prolonged above your head.

Step 4: Return to the beginning place

Management the burden and observe the identical path as you come back to the beginning place. I like to consider the beginning place as a “pocket.” That is the place your arms are on the 45-degree place simply outdoors shoulder width.

How far the bar travels down is as much as you. For me, there are two finish positions to think about. The primary is all the best way down. The second is set by the place of your higher arm.

Typically I wish to cease my shoulder press when my higher arm reaches about parallel to the bottom (a bit above or beneath is okay too). 

Step 5: Repeat

As at all times, proceed for the specified quantity of repetitions. 

If you happen to don’t have entry to a barbell or need to swap up your routine, try our favourite overhead press options.

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: How To Do It

Step 1: Seize a pair of dumbbells and a bench with a again assist

For the seated dumbbell variation, the setup might be nearly equivalent to the Arnold press. Choose an acceptable set of dumbbells and, ideally, a bench that gives again assist. 

Begin with the burden at your ft or resting in your thighs whereas seated. In contrast to the barbell overhead press, a spotter is extra acceptable right here. In case you are utilizing a spotter, I extremely suggest they spot from the wrists, not the elbows. 

Step 2: Convey the dumbbells as much as your shoulders along with your palms dealing with one another or barely ahead

The seated press will look rather a lot like your Arnold press, however as a substitute of getting the palms dealing with again, they are going to be in a extra impartial place and/or dealing with out. I wish to hold them within the pocket, identical to the barbell press. 

Step 3: Press the burden overhead

The seated dumbbell press is the very same because the Arnold press. There isn’t a must rotate the burden right here like within the Arnold press. Your purpose is to easily transfer the burden above your head and totally prolong your elbows. 

Step 4: Return to the beginning place

Identical to any overhead train, rigorously return the burden to the beginning place. Make sure you observe the identical path because the press.

Additionally, contemplate the identical two positions as our barbell variation. The load can cease again within the “pocket” place or when your higher arms are round parallel to the bottom. 

Step 5: Repeat for repetitions

Proceed for the specified quantity of repetitions. 

Shoulder Press: Muscle tissues Labored

As you possibly can most likely think about, the shoulder press is primarily a shoulder train. Nonetheless, general, it targets the next muscle tissues:

  • Anterior and lateral deltoids (entrance and sides of the shoulder)
  • Triceps brachii (again of the higher arm)
  • Pectoralis main (the massive muscle group on the chest known as the “pecs”)

The shoulder press could be thought of a full-body train, relying on the variation. Chances are you’ll use your legs and core in the course of the train, however they don’t seem to be the principle focus. While you carry out the shoulder press, the deltoids, triceps, and pecs are the main muscle tissues transferring the burden overhead. 

Shoulder Press: Advantages 

shoulder press benefits

The shoulder press, regardless of the variation, is an best train for power. It might probably act as a real check of power and may normally be carried out with heavy weight (“heavy” is relative to the person). 

The overhead press may also enhance your bench press. Functionally, they’re completely different workouts, however they aim the identical muscle tissues and use the identical gear. So, if you’re attempting to get a stronger bench press, you ought to be shoulder urgent. 

A very powerful advantage of the shoulder press is the variety of variations. There are a number of methods to carry out this train for all ranges and coaching objectives. You may range the gear (i.e., utilizing a barbell or pair of dumbbells) or do it seated or standing. This may help forestall boredom. 

Shoulder Press: Drawbacks

Like several overhead train, there are some limitations. Regardless of being an incredible train for power, I might not suggest transferring instantly into an overhead barbell press as a result of it’s a advanced train

Complexity calls for time and follow. Earlier than transferring proper into the barbell shoulder press, grasp the motion sample with a follow bar or one other coaching gadget. When you’ve perfected the motion, it’s okay to introduce a brand new stage of complexity with the barbell. 

Shoulder Press: Frequent Errors

A standard mistake I see rather a lot within the standing shoulder press is an extreme lean again, which might result in again ache. That is normally because of lifting an excessive amount of weight. Nonetheless, a minor lean just isn’t a foul factor, so simply ensure you choose an acceptable weight. 

One other frequent mistake within the barbell variation is not transferring the top out of the best way when urgent the burden. The bar path is essential, so while you press the bar, you’ll want to transfer your head again barely. As soon as the bar passes, you possibly can drive your head ahead once more. 

One other frequent mistake is protecting the elbows too far out in the course of the press. That is extra frequent with dumbbells since you may have extra freedom to maneuver the burden.

There isn’t a “one dimension matches all” in relation to kind. Nonetheless, I like to recommend protecting the elbows nearer to the physique. I like to consider protecting a couple of 45-degree angle with my higher arms in relation to my shoulders. 

Shoulder Press: Programming Concerns 

The usual overhead press is a superb train for power. In contrast to the Arnold press, you can begin to suppose “decrease reps, larger weight” right here. Relying on the variation, you can begin to carry out decrease rep units within the vary of 1-6. 

This doesn’t imply you can’t use the shoulder press for muscular hypertrophy. Typically, it might come all the way down to particular person preferences. On the subject of hypertrophy, all you’ll want to do is modify the variables. Performing units of round 6 – 12 reps at 75 – 85% of your one rep max is the vary required for muscle progress. 

Arnold Press vs. Shoulder Press: Which Is Higher?

arnold press vs. shoulder press which is better

When evaluating the Arnold press vs. the dumbbell shoulder press or barbell overhead press, it’s onerous to say which is healthier. All of those workouts are glorious selections. Total, the Arnold press is right for muscular hypertrophy, whereas the shoulder press is right for power. 

Nonetheless, if I had to decide on between the Arnold vs. shoulder press, I might personally choose the shoulder press. It provides extra selection than the Arnold press and could be modified a lot simpler.

Additionally, in relation to powerlifting, the usual shoulder press (particularly the barbell variation) will translate extra into the bench press. 

When Ought to You Do the Arnold Press?

There actually is not any improper time to do the Arnold press. Sometimes, as talked about, if hypertrophy is your purpose, then the Arnold press is a perfect train for you.

If you happen to get particular to “when within the exercise” you need to carry out this train, you may have a couple of choices. I already mentioned utilizing it as both a warm-up (starting of the exercise) or a burnout (close to the top of the exercise). One other time you possibly can carry out the train can be as an adjunct train. This sometimes occurs someday after the principle train. 

For instance, you would possibly carry out the bench press (most important train), adopted by an incline press (secondary train), after which the Arnold press (accent train). 

When Ought to You Do the Shoulder Press? 

We will observe a few of the identical issues we had for the Arnold press right here. The principle distinction, in fact, will at all times come again to the burden. The shoulder press (whether or not seated or standing or with a barbell or dumbbell) is a perfect train to enhance power. 

When contemplating the person exercise, you possibly can sometimes place the shoulder press into two most important spots. Just like the Arnold press, you should use the shoulder press as an adjunct motion. Or, you possibly can deal with it as one among your main workouts carried out at first of your exercise. 

For instance, you would begin with the standing barbell shoulder press (most important train). Or we might begin with an inline press (most important train), adopted by a seated dumbbell shoulder press (secondary train). 

Questioning how usually you need to do the shoulder press? Try Can You Overhead Press Each Day? (Professionals and Cons).

Steadily Requested Questions

Is the Arnold Press Higher Than the Dumbbell Press?

The Arnold press just isn’t inherently higher than the dumbbell press. When selecting an train, you’ll want to contemplate your coaching objectives and preferences. For instance, if you’re attempting to extend muscle mass or desire the Arnold press over the dumbbell press, it’s the “greatest” train for that state of affairs. 

Can You Do the Arnold Press Seated?

The Arnold press could be carried out seated or standing. Usually, folks appear to desire the seated variation. I do suggest utilizing a bench with again assist when performing this train. 

How Typically Ought to You Do Shoulder Presses? 

For the standard resistance coaching program, you need to do shoulder presses two to a few occasions per week. This doesn’t imply you’ll want to carry out the identical variation 3 times per week. I might suggest utilizing completely different variations all through the week to coach your muscle tissues in several methods and forestall boredom.

Can I Do the Arnold Press As an alternative of the Shoulder Press?

You are able to do the Arnold press as a substitute of a standard shoulder press or to assist complement your different urgent workouts. Simply know that you just will be unable to elevate as a lot weight with an Arnold press as you possibly can with a shoulder press, so it might not be best if you wish to improve power.

Is the Arnold Press or Shoulder Press Higher for Powerlifters? 

The normal shoulder press is the higher reply for powerlifters. The principle purpose is that you’re stronger within the shoulder press than within the Arnold press. This power will sometimes translate higher into the bench press for competitors. The Arnold press is historically higher for bodybuilding. 

Are Arnold Presses Unhealthy for Your Shoulders?

If performed incorrectly, any train could be “unhealthy” in your physique. The Arnold press can worsen your shoulders in case you have a historical past of shoulder accidents. However whereas extra stress is positioned on the rotator cuff, you possibly can keep away from critical accidents by selecting an acceptable weight and understanding methods to do the motion accurately.

Closing Ideas

Irrespective of your purpose, whether or not you need to be stronger or construct muscle (or a mix of the 2), shoulder press variations are nice workouts for any program.

However in relation to the Arnold press vs. shoulder press, which is healthier?

Whereas each workouts may help you enhance power and construct muscle, the Arnold press is healthier for hypertrophy, and the shoulder press is healthier for power. Think about your objectives and the way every train might assist you to obtain them earlier than deciding which one so as to add to your program.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments