Updated: Jan 29
Hi Friends of Oompf, it's Alvan here. Today we will be talking about the chess press, why you should do it and most common mistakes made doing this exercise.
A chest press is an upper body strengthening exercise that works primarily the chest, shoulders and triceps. There are a different variety of ways to do the chest press for example, flat bench press, dumbbell bench press, inclined bench press and even decline bench press.
The benefits of doing chest press includes building upper body strength, improving muscular endurance and even doing simple daily activities like pushing open a heavy door or a trolley. If you are trying to perform a pushup, chest presses are one of the best ways to work up to them.
However, with almost every exercise, there are mistakes commonly made with the chest press. Here are a few:
1. Flaring out elbows
If you've ever hurt your shoulders doing the chest press, it is most likely because you were doing this. Flaring out the elbows (your elbows point out towards the side vs down), will cause you to put more strain in your shoulders rather than working the chest. In order to fix this, you may want to try squeezing the shoulder blades together and bringing your elbows closer to the side of your body.
2. Not placing your feet on the floor
When chest pressing, your feet should be planted firmly onto the ground. This helps to build a firm foundation and better stability allowing you to perform the movement safely as well as bench a heavier weight. Just like when you do a standing military press or squats you want both feet planted firmly on the ground and not lift your heels or toes off the ground.
3. You're bending your wrists.
Bending your wrist causes extreme strain on the wrists joints especially when you start to pile on heavy weights. Ideally you'd want your wrists to be completely locked out, with your knuckles facing the ceiling.
4. You're not completing the full range of motion.
Unless you have an existing injury that limits your range of motion, you ideally want the bar to touch your chest while doing the exercise. You will be able to do this if your starting position is right; feet on the ground, shoulder blades tucked in and elbows kept close to your side. By doing this, you will not be placing excess strain on the shoulders and you will be able to perform your chest press most efficiently and effectively.
Once you start perfecting your form, you should start seeing improvements in terms of strength and as well as size. If you find yourself plateauing in the chest press, be sure to try these tips and you will start hitting your personal records!
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