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How to Do a Chest Press

How to Do Chest Press

How to Do a Chest Press

How to Do Chest Press Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes Read more

The pectoral muscles of the chest are used during the chest press strength training activity. Dumbbells, barbells, a Smith machine, a suspension trainer, or even resistance bands can all be used to accomplish a chest press.

The proper execution of a chess press should be demonstrated to you by a certified trainer, especially if you intend to exercise in a home gym. The chest press can be used into a workout for gaining muscle or for improving upper body strength.


The pectorals, which make up the bulk of the chest, are the objective of the chest press exercise. Additionally, it makes use of the triceps brachii and the anterior deltoids of the shoulder. Building chest support and definition is desirable for a fit appearance, but it also serves practical purposes. For sports requiring the use of a bat, racket, or club, strong pecs are a necessity for power.

You benefit from the chest press in all daily tasks that involve pushing or carrying. For athletes that predominantly employ pulling muscles, such as in wrestling, rock climbing, and swimming, it can aid in regaining muscle balance.

Step-by-Step Guidelines

Although a variety of equipment can be used to perform the chest press (see Variations, below), these instructions call for dumbbells.

With a dumbbell in each hand, lie down on a bench or the ground. If you sit on a bench, you can either put your feet up on the seat or on the ground, depending on which is more comfortable for your height relative to the bench and your leg length.

Dumbbells should be placed at the shoulders with upper arms at a 45-degree angle to the torso. To prevent strain on the shoulder joint, keep your elbows in front of your shoulder line. Your thumbs should be encircled by the handle with your palms facing front.

Make sure you are in a secure and comfortable position by bracing your core muscles and tucking your chin in slightly toward your chest. You are equipped to lift.

Exhale while pushing the weights upward, being careful not to lock out the elbows in a quick motion. The weights should almost touch over the top of the chest and make a shallow arc. As long as you don’t straighten your arms abruptly or violently, it’s acceptable. The floor or seat should not be raised above the head or shoulder blades.

While breathing in and managing the return to the beginning position, lower the weights with your muscles clenched.
Try three sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise with a suitable weight to start. Between sets, you can set the weights down.

Common Mistakes

To capitalize on this exercise and keep away from strain or injury, try not to commit these errors.

Losing Natural Back Arch

Keep the lower back’s natural arch; don’t push your back into the surface. This is a natural stability mechanism known as the lordotic curve.

Arms Too Far Apart

Avoid letting the forearms spread so widely that the weights are above or below the elbows’ line of alignment. Don’t smash the weights together at the peak of the exercise; instead, go in an arc into the centre of the chest.

Weights Too Heavy

Avoid twisting your shoulders and upper body to lift the weights. This indicates that the weights are too hefty for you. Reduce the number of repetitions or use smaller weights during the last reps of any set if you feel fatigued. Avoid putting yourself or others in danger.

Lifting Too Fast

Your elbows may get hurt if you lift too quickly or with excessive force. Make an effort to lift the weights in a slow, controlled manner.

Not Using a Spotter

When performing a chest press workout, it is always advised to have a partner at your side, especially if you are an advanced user of larger weights. Many people at the gym will “spot” you if you ask them to do so. This person is frequently referred to as a “spotter.”

Modifications and Variations

As your strength increases, you can make this workout easier for yourself and then increase the difficulty as you advance.

Need a Modification?

To develop pectoral muscle strength, beginning exercisers might opt to start with the seated chest press machine. It has adjustments and lessens form errors.

Incline Dumbbell Press

Perform the dumbbell chest press modification as directed above, inclining the bench to a 15 to 30 degree angle. As you maintain the proper space between the dumbbells during each repetition, keep in mind to keep your back and shoulders stable.

Cable Press

You can also use a cable press machine for this exercise. Standing in the middle, raise your arms to shoulder height while clutching the handles of each cable pulley. Adjust the cable pulley to shoulder height. To fully stretch your arms, contract your chest muscles and press the handles forward. Release back to your starting posture with control.

Start with light dumbbells and pay attention to the action to become familiar with the exercise’s appropriate technique. You shouldn’t do the activity if you experience any pain.

Up for a Challenge?

You can start to raise the weight after you can perform the chest lift correctly. When attempting these difficult workouts, be sure to employ a spotter as you use larger weights. See more

Standing Press

Only after your form is excellent and you have a strong base should you try the standing press. This exercise tests your balance and stability, so your chest muscles aren’t as heavily worked. The transverse abdominus (TVA) muscle, the erector spinae muscles that support the spine, and your rotator cuffs will all feel the most strain from this exercise.

Plate-Loaded Press

This version can be carried out either standing or lying down on a bench. The plate-loaded press strengthens your pectorals while lowering your chance of injury since you squeeze the weight to keep your muscles engaged.

Safety and Precautions

If you recently underwent surgery on your shoulders or chest muscles, consult your doctor or physical therapist to determine whether this exercise is safe for you. Stop the activity if you ever have pain in your arms, shoulders, or chest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Chest presses work what muscles?

The pectoral muscles are the ones that the chest press primarily targets, but it also works the deltoids, triceps, biceps, and serratus anterior along the top of the rib cage.

What distinguishes a bench press from a chest press?

The bench press and the chest press are practically identical exercises. However, a chest press can be done with dumbbells while seated, standing, or inclined, whereas a bench press must always be done while laying on your back.

How do you properly do a chest press?

Start by placing your arms at your sides, elbows bent and pointed out, at chest level. Lift your arms above your chest as you slowly exhale. Inhale, then slowly return to the beginning posture by lowering your arms to your sides. Keep pressing up.

How do you hit chest on chest press?

Lift the bar off the rack using an overhand grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Swing the bar slightly forward so that it can clear the rack and is above your chest. Bend your arms and drop the bar toward your chest while allowing your elbows to extend out to the side.

Why can’t I feel my chest when working out?

Another crucial phase of a successful chest workout is the break. Most men lift far too much weight. As a result, the rest will take longer and the chest muscle won’t be activated. Here’s a helpful hint: Try to strike your chest harder and with less rest. Click here

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