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Seated Arnold Press 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Modified Variation Strength


Seated Arnold Press
Seated Arnold Press

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type

Push (Bilateral)

Required Equipment


Fitness Level









The Seated Arnold Press is a dynamic shoulder exercise designed to target the deltoid muscles with a particular emphasis on the anterior (front) delts. This movement also engages the trapezius and triceps as secondary muscle groups. To perform the Seated Arnold Press, individuals typically sit on a bench with a backrest, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with palms facing the body. The exercise involves a rotational component, as the weights are lifted overhead while the palms rotate to face forward at the top of the movement. This rotation helps activate the entire shoulder complex and enhances muscle recruitment. The Seated Arnold Press is an effective way to develop shoulder strength, stability, and size, making it a valuable addition to a well-rounded shoulder workout routine.

How to Perform

  1. Arrange an adjustable bench to a 90-degree angle and choose the preferred weight from the weight rack.

  2. Lift the dumbbells off the floor with a neutral grip, ensuring that your palms are facing inward. Place the ends of the dumbbells on your knees and take a seated position on the bench.

  3. Employ a careful and controlled movement to raise each knee individually, facilitating the positioning of each dumbbell securely.

  4. Once the dumbbells are in position, adjust your palm orientation to face yourself.

  5. Inhale deeply and proceed to press the dumbbells overhead, extending the elbows and engaging the deltoid muscles.

  6. During the pressing motion, rotate the dumbbells until your palms are directed forward.

  7. Gradually lower the dumbbells back to the initial position, ensuring the arms reach approximately 90 degrees or slightly lower, accounting for individual limb lengths.

  8. Execute the entire sequence for the desired number of repetitions, emphasizing precision and control throughout. Additionally, it is imperative to maintain proper form to maximize the engagement of the targeted shoulder muscles and minimize the risk of injury.


  1. Maintain a flat back against the bench throughout the entire exercise to ensure proper spinal alignment.

  2. Avoid excessive forward jutting of the head to prevent unnecessary strain on the neck.

  3. As you press, focus on driving the biceps towards the ears and exhale to optimize the effectiveness of the movement.

  4. If you experience discomfort or pressure in the neck or traps during the exercise, consider addressing potential issues with thoracic spine extension or shoulder flexion.

  5. Keep a slight bend in the elbows at the top of the movement, refraining from locking them out entirely, to sustain tension on the shoulder muscles.

  6. Inability to fully lock out the elbows overhead may indicate insufficient shoulder mobility, potentially stemming from inadequate scapular upward rotation.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid Overarching the Lower Back: Refrain from arching your lower back excessively during the Seated Arnold Press. Maintain a stable and neutral spine to prevent unnecessary stress on the lumbar region and ensure the focus remains on the targeted shoulder muscles.

  2. Don't Use Excessive Body Momentum: Resist the temptation to use momentum generated from your body, such as swaying or leaning, to lift the dumbbells. This can compromise the isolation of the shoulder muscles and diminish the effectiveness of the exercise. Keep movements controlled and deliberate.

  3. Prevent Overextension of the Elbows: Do not hyperextend or lock out your elbows at the top of the movement. This not only reduces tension on the shoulders but can also increase the risk of joint strain and injury. Keep a slight bend in the elbows throughout the exercise to maintain constant muscle engagement.

  4. Avoid Rapid or Uncontrolled Movements: Steer clear of rapid or jerky movements during the Seated Arnold Press. Control the descent and ascent of the dumbbells to prevent unnecessary stress on the joints and ensure that the shoulder muscles are the primary focus of the exercise.

  5. Do Not Neglect Proper Breathing: Avoid holding your breath or breathing irregularly during the exercise. Inhale before initiating the press and exhale as you press the dumbbells overhead. Consistent and controlled breathing helps optimize oxygen flow to the muscles, enhancing performance and reducing the risk of fatigue or dizziness.

  6. Don't Neglect Warm-Up Sets: Skipping warm-up sets can increase the risk of injury and compromise the effectiveness of the Seated Arnold Press. Begin with lighter weights to prepare the shoulder joints and muscles for the workout, gradually progressing to heavier loads as your body adapts.

  7. Avoid Gripping the Dumbbells Too Tightly: While a secure grip is essential, gripping the dumbbells too tightly can lead to unnecessary tension in the forearms and wrists, detracting from the targeted shoulder engagement. Maintain a firm but comfortable grip to optimize muscle recruitment in the shoulders.

  8. Do Not Ignore Proper Seating Position: Neglecting the correct seating position on the bench can impact the exercise's effectiveness. Ensure that the bench is set at a 90-degree angle and that your back is firmly against the backrest throughout the entire movement for stability and support.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.








Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.