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Standing Dumbbell Arnold Presses

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body, which was voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

The dumbbell Arnold press targets and isolates both the front and side heads of the deltoid muscles. Lowering the dumbbells gradually down in front allows terrific range of motion. Perform these exercises with a safe, controllable weight to protect your shoulders, and only do them if your shoulders are injury- and pain-free.

Muscles Worked
Shoulders (deltoids)

Starting Position
Stand with your back straight and feet about hip-width apart. Your chest should remain relaxed, and your core should remain tight to keep the focus on your shoulder muscles. Hold the dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing inward at chest level. Do not arch your back (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, press the dumbbells straight up and out as you turn the dumbbells so your palms face away from your body when your arms are fully extended. The dumbbells should be shoulder-width apart at top of movement and your deltoids fully flexed at the top of the movement (see Photos 2 to 4).
  2. Without losing momentum, slowly return the dumbbells to the starting position (see Photo 5 and 6).
About Mike Clausen: Clausen is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. He has been actively involved in sports and weightlifting since high school, and continues to use that knowledge when training his clients. Clausen is both A.C.E. and N.A.S.M. certified and has been training clients professionally for six years. He enjoys making his clients stronger, both physically and mentally, giving them the tools to create an efficient body and to do things they thought were not possible.