7 Best Kettlebell Exercises to Get Strong Shoulders Like Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the all-time great bodybuilders.

He won the Mr. Universe competition in 1965 and went on to become a huge star in Hollywood.

He trained his shoulders 2-3 times per week. He did that because he realized the importance of building massive delts.

Schwarzenegger was one of the first bodybuilders to understand how much muscle the shoulders can create, something evident in his physique.

In fact, his delts were so well developed that they came out as a focal point of his physique in many photos. He also trained his arms and shoulders together on the same training day to save time.

How to Get Strong Shoulders Like Arnold Schwarzenegger?

The following exercises can help you get shoulders like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s:

1) Kettlebell Arnold Press

The Arnold press is a kettlebell shoulder workout named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, the legendary seven-time Mr. Olympia.

The kettlebell Arnold press works a variety of upper body muscles, which we’ve included below with brief descriptions.

The goal is to hit all three heads in one motion, which seems to be accomplished by changing positions throughout the process.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • From a seated or standing position, perform the movement.
  • Begin the movement by extending your arms slightly outwards, twisting the kettlebell outwards (so your palms are now facing away from you), and pressing up while holding the kettlebell under your chin (palm facing your body).
  • Push yourself up till your arms are fully extended.
  • Return the kettlebell to its original position with control, and repeat. Make the rotating and pressing motions as smooth as possible.

2) Single-arm Kettlebell Arnold Press

This two-arm variation is a great workout, but executing this movement with only one kettlebell is also an excellent option.

You can enhance your unilateral strength and stabilization by pressing with one side and not the other.

It’s done as follows:

  • The complete action, keep your spine long, and avoid rounding or overextending it.
  • Maintain a tiny elevation above the horizon, and drive your feet into the earth to anchor yourself and create a firm foundation.
  • Grip the ground with your feet before each press to generate as much energy as possible across your body.
  • Fully the pushing operation, keep your forearms vertical.

3) Kettlebell Alternating Arnold Press

Rather than pressing both kettlebells at the same time, alternate your left and right arms, and press one at a time.

The benefits will be comparable to the single-arm variety, but some people find that gripping two kettlebells provides more stability.

It’s done as follows:

  • Start with a supinated hold on the kettlebell, and alternate pressing one kettlebell at a time up and overhead while twisting as the kettlebell passes the head.
  • Finish in the top position with a pronated grip. Twist the kettlebell before it reaches the top of your head when lowering it.

4) Kettlebell Push-up

Kettlebells provide you a wider range of motion than dumbbells, so go full range and enjoy your workout to develop Arnold Schwarzenegger-like broad shoulders.

Here’s how they’re done:

  • Keep the bells close together — slightly outside shoulder width or even shoulder width — secure a firm grasp on the handles, and, push up.
  • To maximize both efficacy and safety for your shoulders, make it more of a tricep push-up with no elbow flare.
  • You’ll want to go as deep as you can, keeping a firm core and glutes to keep your body in a plank throughout.

5) Overhead Farmer’s Walk

When you look at vintage pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’ll notice that he was usually deadlifting. One of the reasons was that he understood that he couldn’t bulk up without lifting heavy objects.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Pick up a pair of heavy dumbbells or kettlebells from the floor, and walk 50-100 feet ahead while keeping an ideal upright posture and tight abs.
  • This exercise is great for improving ankle, knee and hip stability, as well as overall strength and big traps and forearms.
  • It’s a wonderful finisher that should be done once a week for 3-5 sets of roughly 20-30 seconds, just like the keg bear hug walk.

6) Bottom-up Shoulder Press

This action in itself is simple: you’ll perform a shoulder press with kettlebells, bottoms-up, just like you would with dumbbells.

Arnold Schwarzenegger did indeed do some variation of the kettlebell military press with a 120 lb kettlebell.

It’s done as follows:

  • To protect your back throughout the lift, never hyperextend your back.
  • Instead, keep your glutes, quads and core tight.
  • Also, have a spotter hand you the bells if you wish to lift heavier (only when you’re truly ready). If you’re alone, go unilateral so that you can ring the bell for yourself.

7) Kettlebell Upright Row

You’ll need a single kettlebell for this amazing trap and shoulder exercise to get broad chest like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s.

It’s done as follows:

  • To perform this exercise, grab a kettlebell with both hands, and stand in front of a sturdy object.
  • With your feet together and knees slightly bent, hinge at your hips, and lift the weight by extending your arms overhead.
  • Keep your core tight so that you maintain a stable position throughout the movement.

Bottom Line

It’s worth noting that Arnold Schwarzenegger isnt the only celebrity to love kettlebells. Other celebrities, like his fellow bodybuilder Jason Statham, have taken up the kettlebell as well.

None of these exercises alone is going to help build killer shoulders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but with patience and consistency, you can get pretty close.

All you need right now is a heavy kettlebell and something to work against — the floor, a wall, a door frame — and you’re all set. Don’t worry if the form isn’t perfect at first. Over time, you’ll find yourself getting stronger and more comfortable.

Q. Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronnie Coleman?

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