June 15, 2020

Scott Press VS Arnold Press (Transform Weak Shoulders Into Rock-Hard Boulders)

scott press arnold press

The Scott Press is easily a better exercise than the Arnold Press.


Because the Scott Press was designed for the very first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott, himself. In fact, it's how he turned his poor weak shoulders into rock-hard boulders.

The reason why the Scott Press works so well is because it targets all three parts of the shoulder at once. The front deltoid, middle delt, and the rear.

scott press is better than voerhead press

Now I personally prefer to focus on strength training my shoulders with the overhead press. But when it comes to stimulation and growth, the Scott Press blows all the other shoulder exercises out of the water.

So then how do you perform the Scott Press? Well I'll show you in just a moment.

But first I want to mention the distinct difference between the Scott Press and the Arnold Press.

The Arnold Press has a HUGE range of motion. And even though it can work, you'll see down below that it only stimulates 2/3 of the shoulder heads.

Meanwhile, the Scott Press has a much smaller range of motion and hits all three parts of the shoulder. Performing partial exercises like this requires a weightlifter to be more cautious with his movements.

NOTE: People don't realize this move is not a press at all. It's simply a shoulder girdle retraction and elevation.

Before showing you how to perform the Scott Press, I should stress that this is a movement that requires good technique with a weight you can manage. Be sure to check your ego. That being said, let's move forward:

How to Perform the Scott Press

  1. Stand with a dumbbell weight in each hand
  2. Lift weights up to your shoulders and lean slightly forward
  3. Lift the weights from the sides of your head to 80% of the top of a shoulder press movement.
  4. Make sure to focus on pulling your elbows and shoulders back while slightly tilting your head forward as you push upward.
  5. Lower the weights back down to the sides of your head
  6. Repeat the movement in a controlled "swinging" manner.

Quick Look at the Arnold Press

scott press vs arnold press

You start with the weights in front of your chest facing each other. Then you move your arms way laterally while twisting your hands so your palms face forward. Lastly you push the weights all the way up, then you bring the weights back down and in front of you.

The Arnold Press stimulates both the front and middle parts of the shoulders. It also stimulates the upper pecs because the weights are moved from the front of the body. But it doesn't hit the back of shoulders like Scott Presses do.

  • Watch a video of the Arnold Press here.

Scott Press Training Tips

Use light weight with higher reps. Since Scott Presses are essentially a variant of Arnold Press partials, you may feel inclined to use heavier weights. This is a mistake. The Scott Press was designed for deliberate movement and time under tension.

Keep the pinkie higher than the index finger. Having a higher pinkie finger gives you a more stimulation because it allows you to more easily swing your elbows to the side and rear for the "arc" movement.

Do not lockout. Again, the entire purpose is time under tension. While the Arnold Press allows you to rest when you bring the dumbells in front of you, the Scott Press is meant for continuous movement throughout the set.

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2 comments on “Scott Press VS Arnold Press (Transform Weak Shoulders Into Rock-Hard Boulders)”

  1. When you bring the dumbbells up, are they directly above your head or slightly behind or slightly in front of your head?
    Also, which head or heads of the deltoids does this exercise work?

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