Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Favorite Exercises

By / November 21, 2023

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a legendary figure in the world of bodybuilding and fitness. He’s known for his incredible physique and his dedication to the sport. Throughout his career, he has shared his favorite exercises that have helped him sculpt his iconic physique. In this blog post, we’ll delve into some of Arnold’s go-to exercises and why they are essential for building a strong and aesthetic physique.

1. Bench Press: Building a Powerful Chest

Arnold Bench Press
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

The bench press is one of Arnold’s favorite exercises for developing a strong and impressive chest. This compound movement targets the pectoral muscles, deltoids, and triceps. Arnold Schwarzenegger often emphasized the importance of heavy lifting with proper form to stimulate muscle growth effectively. Incorporating variations like incline and decline bench presses can help target different areas of the chest, creating a well-rounded look.

2. Squats: Leg Day Excellence

Arnold Squats leg exercise
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

Arnold Schwarzenegger never skipped leg day, and squats were a staple in his leg training routine. Squats engage the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles. The “Austrian Oak” believed that strong legs were the foundation for a strong body. He encouraged deep squats to ensure maximum muscle activation and growth. To follow Arnold’s footsteps, make squats a priority in your leg workouts.

3. Deadlifts: Developing a Powerful Back

arnold Deadlifts

For a formidable back, Arnold Schwarzenegger relied on deadlifts. This compound exercise targets the lower back, upper back, glutes, and hamstrings. Deadlifts help improve overall strength and posture, and they are essential for a balanced physique. Arnold Schwarzenegger advised lifting heavy weights safely while maintaining proper form. Incorporating both conventional and sumo deadlifts can provide a well-rounded back development.

4. Military Press: Sculpting Shoulders


Arnold’s massive shoulders were a trademark of his physique. He credited military presses as a key exercise for shoulder development. This exercise primarily targets the deltoid muscles. Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended using a standing military press to engage the core for stability and balance. Include variations like dumbbell shoulder presses and lateral raises to target different parts of the shoulders.

5. Pull-Ups: Building a V-Taper Back


To achieve the classic V-taper physique, Arnold Schwarzenegger incorporated pull-ups into his routine. Pull-ups work the lats, biceps, and upper back muscles. Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasized wide-grip pull-ups to widen the back and create that desirable V-shape. Pay attention to this simple yet effective exercise when aiming for a sculpted back.

In conclusion, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite exercises are not only effective for building muscle and strength but also for creating a balanced and aesthetically pleasing physique. Incorporate these exercises into your workout routine and remember Arnold’s advice on proper form and intensity. Whether you’re a bodybuilding enthusiast or simply looking to improve your fitness, Arnold’s favorite exercises can be a valuable addition to your training regimen.

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