Weight and Resistance Training - Your opinion on the Arnold PRess, cross body hammer curls & "snow angels"

11-23-2008, 09:19 PM
OK, so it's the 6 wk "shake things up" time and I've tried out some new exercises from my new program that I made up. Found some new things (to me) on the bodybuilding.com site and just wondered if you had any opinions on these moves.

First, the Arnold. Rotation bicep curls that turn into shoulder presses - a shoulder exercise. BB.com was pretty good about telling you to be careful about injury here and not to go too heavy. Maybe I won't be able to brush my teeth tomorrow, but they felt pretty easy.

Then, cross-body hammer curls -- so you curl your right arm up and cross your body as you do, maxxing out at your left shoulder instead of right shoulder. Reverse for the left arm. Again, these seemed pretty easy and I didn't really feel like I got anything different out of it - we'll see tomorrow I guess. Feel like maybe I should stick with std hammers and be able to increase my weight sooner.

The weirdest - snow angels. These are for your chest, tho I would argue they worked (killed) my shoulders more. Had to go really low on them, really low, like starting from scratch on 3 lbs. You start flat on a bench with your weights in your lap, palms up. Then, as if you were on the ground in the snow, you bring your arms up in an arc out to your side and come to above your head, like pushing out a snow angel. Youwza - these are REALLY HARD. :chin: (Makes me wonder if they are also injury makers....i know we have to take good care of our shoulders)

Anyway, it was interesting that with adding in even some bench pullovers at pretty good weights, (which I love), some bench tricep dips with bodyweight (killers for me bc of bw) and bench step ups, I still felt pretty strong and not killed by the new workout. Maybe my old workout really was harder, but I'm doing the same # of exercises per body part, reps, sets staying the same and picking up at the same weights I left off on in my last routine. Again, maybe I won't walk tomorrow, but this didn't wind me as much as squats, lat pull downs, and bent-legged deadlifts. But maybe it's just the first day is easy, I'll fall down the stairs tomorrow, and be looking for a chiropractor by dinner. :lol3:

Anyway, thanks for any advice you can give to the "goodness" of my 3 new drills. My biggest learning was how hard seated dumbbell curls on an incline bench could be. I maxxed out at a much lower weight than I do when standing - that was eye opening!

11-23-2008, 11:48 PM
The snow angels are a killer and involve both shouder and chest, I do mine lying on the ground and lifting the weights about 2 inches from the floor before beginning the movement. I was given them to do by my powerlifting coach. They are not an exercise usually given to beginners and I do them with light weights (6 kg).

11-24-2008, 08:37 AM
Agree on the snow angels. I also do them lying face down on the floor. It adds a lot of core and lower back to the exercise.

I'm not a fan of Arnold presses because of the shoulder injury potential. I'm also not a fan of seated anythings...but that is a personal gripe.

You probably aren't as wiped out by this new routine because you are using less large muscles. Squats are a full body exercise, hammer curls are an isolation exercise, no matter how hard they may seem or how sore your arms get.

But change is good!


11-24-2008, 08:49 AM
On the Arnolds ... there's a school of thought that no shoulder exercise should be done with internal rotation due to the high potential for rotator cuff injury. Two prime examples are Arnolds and upright rows. After tearing my rotator cuff doing an upright row, it's sure something I'll never do again, regardless of load (I not only tore the tendon off the bone, I tore right through my infraspinatus and supraspinatus :p).

After spending three months rehabbing with physical therapists after surgery, my take home message was 1. shoulders should never be worked to failure because they are such small muscles and failure is the edge of injury, 2. no internal rotation exercises, ever, and 3. we shouldn't work shoulders to the point of being sore, again because of the high potential for injury. So be glad that your shoulders aren't sore today! We can kill our glutes and other big muscles, but let's baby our shoulders. :)

11-24-2008, 10:09 AM
Thanks Mel and Meg - this is exactly what I was looking for!

I will move my snow angels to the floor (but face up for me!) because that makes me less fearful that if I have a weak moment my arms won't crash too far to the ground. I will replace the Arnolds with something else. I thought it was supposed to be this huge transformational creative movement or something - the keystone to his success - but I won't risk injury. My right shoulder is sore today and was before I went to bed last nite but my left isn't. While I look forward to the day of having large shoulder caps, I think it's more an issue of removing fat than trying to kill my shoulder muscles.

And Mel, yes, the last time I picked exercises, I kept telling myself to stand up whenever I can!! I remember your preference. But for the sake of change and not wanting to do lunges yet (and being sadly excited about taking a break from squats!) it seemed like sitting for a few things was due.

Today's report - lower body is fine - I think I need to raise the level of my step ups. There was no way I could do my bench yet without risking ankle injury on the decline, but I've pulled out my old FIRM step (was using the fanny lifter boxes last nite) and have raised that to the highest position (about 16") and will give that a whirl. My back, TRICEPS of all places, and one shoulder feel stiff and "worked out" nicely. My glutes were sore last nite but have since recovered. No stair issues. ;)

Thanks again!!!

11-24-2008, 02:49 PM
After spending three months rehabbing with physical therapists after surgery, my take home message was 1. shoulders should never be worked to failure because they are such small muscles and failure is the edge of injury, 2. no internal rotation exercises, ever, and 3. we shouldn't work shoulders to the point of being sore, again because of the high potential for injury. So be glad that your shoulders aren't sore today! We can kill our glutes and other big muscles, but let's baby our shoulders. :)

I yet have to look up what these exercises are, but thanks Meg for the important info re shoulders. I will remember that.

01-19-2009, 07:07 PM
I'm glad I saw this older post while I was searching for another thread. I will be removing the Arnold Press from my routine. Luckily I just started a new routine and have only tried it twice.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a shoulder exercise for someone who has shoulder issues to begin with? I was hit head-on in '06 and when my car landed on top of the fire hydrant...well, it wasn't a fun recovery. ;)

Well, heck..I just read the post about the upright rows, that's on my list too. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and post my entire list for examination, aren't I? I was trying to do this on my own and not de-lurk, but I think I'm just going to admit to stalking you all. :o

01-19-2009, 10:24 PM
:wave: You are "out" now! You might as well join in the fun :)

I do standing dumbbell presses, lateral raises, front raises with one or 2 dumbbells, rear delt raises, WYTL's from the New Rule of Lifting for Women book, and all variations standng on a bosu, with cables, etc. I WON'T do upright rows or Arnold presses. My shoulders have suffered too much and I'm to aware of Meg's injuries and surgeries and another friend's who had the same problems.

Post your workout if you'd like ;)


01-19-2009, 10:42 PM
I recommend kettlebells although I'm biased but I have read that they are used in shoulder rehab and my shoulders have never felt better than when I use kettlebells consistently.

01-20-2009, 02:27 PM
:wave: You are "out" now! You might as well join in the fun :)
Post your workout if you'd like ;)


Thanks! I'm going to post it in this thread, since it's still mostly on topic.

I've attached a pdf of the exercises I had chosen (from https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/equip/dumbbells.html) to do based on the following criteria:

1. Prefer compound over isolation exercises.
2. Have only dumbbells available at home. Wanted a 6 week program to "outlast" the resolutioners, because my gym's free weight area is so crowded right now.
3. I listed at least 2 exercises per muscle, but that doesn't mean I'd do all the exercises listed in every workout. I'd do at least one, but depending on time available, I might choose to do 2. Or in the case of the squats/lunges, I sometimes do more.

Here's my questions:

1. Is it at all necessary to work forearms or traps separately if I've covered them as a secondary muscle targeted in a compound exercise? My thinking says "no", but then again, I'm the one who was going to do arnold presses. :dizzy:
2. Which of these would you cross off the list, and what would you replace it with?
3. Sets-Reps. Same old question. :o I had been doing 3x12 on the machines at the old gym, however when I transitioned to free weights, I intended to do 5x5s. Any problems/issues/suggestions? I remember researching the WHY of 5x5, but I couldn't tell you now. Possibly because I could lift heavier?

I'm sure I'll have more questions. Thanks for any advice you can give.

Nelie- I've been pricing kettlebells, but the adjustable dumbbells made more sense to me spacewise, and moneywise, at the moment. I keep dragging DH over to look at them, in hopes that he takes a hint.

01-20-2009, 07:36 PM
I have never done any of these. I had to look up snow angels. I had never heard of them. I guess they are also called around the worlds, which I had heard of but I've never done.

01-20-2009, 07:43 PM
What are some other things that use internal rotation? I know that I don't do arnold presses or upright rows because it would hurt my shoulders. But I didn't think of the words "internal rotation", I just didn't do them. What are some other things that would involve internal rotation that I should not do?

01-20-2009, 08:50 PM
dixied - keep suggesting... I love kettlebells and plan to never buy any more dumbbells again. Also you can start with one and just increase. I have a 15 lb, 20 lb, 25 lb, 35 lb and 45 lb kettlebell. I plan to buy another 20lb and another 25lb sometime. I don't expect I'll need another 35lb or 45lb.

01-20-2009, 09:05 PM
Dixied- That's a pretty standard bodybuilder workout. For years I worked traps and forearms, but I no longer do. I do enough heavy deadlifts, push ups and pull ups that my forearms and traps get a good workout. That goes for arms in general. Every once in a while, I'll throw in a couple of sets of curls, dips and skull crushers, but for the most part, arms get LOTS of work as ancillary muscles. I notice that there are no push ups or pull ups in that workout- either assisted or modified if you can't yet do the full exercise, they are great full body exercises.

5X5 sets are usually for building strength...lots of strength. I like to mix it up more and do pyramid sets and drop sets, lots of super sets. I'm already quite strong and I want to maintain endurance as well as sheer strength.

How are you breaking up the workout?

If you have serious should issues, be careful with dips as well. If your legs are at the same level as your hands (between two benches or on a stability ball) it can cause more shoulder damage, It's a great exercise with loads of variations to engage more of your body, but be careful ;)

Welcome again!

01-20-2009, 09:35 PM
Dixie (welcome to the dark side!)

You can also go to bodybuilding.com, enter the supersite (not the store) and go to exercises. You will find a menu from there where you can click on the bodypart that you want worked and it will give you a boatload of exercises. That's where I found the snowangels.