Improving Your Press StrengthIn this article we are going to focus on press strength. The most common press strength exercise is the barbell bench press, but there are numerous exercises you can perform that will increase your pressing strength.
Press strength and press movements encompass exercises where you are pressing or pushing the weight away from your body. These movements are designed to target your chest, shoulders, and triceps. In comparison, pull movements normally target your back and biceps muscle groups as you are pulling the weight towards your body.
So, if you are looking to dig yourself out of your training rut with some new exercises you've never performed before, these 5 pressing movements are a great place to start. You can implement any of these movements into your press day, upper body day, or chest-only day to switch up your training and fire up some new, fresh strength gains.
5 Pressing Movements You Should Be Doing
#1 - Arnold PressThis exercise was a staple in Arnold Schwarzenegger's shoulder training and I think his pressing strength speaks for itself. If you've been doing standard, dumbbell presses for the last couple months then switch things up with the Arnold press.
Similar to a seated dumbbell military press, this movement targets all three heads in the shoulder. Set yourself up on an upright bench with your dumbbells in hand. Instead of starting with the weights raised and at the side of your head, turn your palms in, facing towards you, with the weight near the top of your chest/front shoulder area.
Push the dumbbells up and out, turning your wrist and arms, so that the finish position of the rep is the same as a standard military press. Raise the weight down, turning your arms and wrist again, towards your front shoulder area.
#2 - Overhead PressA simple, primal movement that many of us forget about performing is the overhead press. Lifting heavy weight above your head in a controlled fashion demands balance, core strength, and proper form. But, once you master this lift you will build incredible strength among all of your chest, shoulder, and triceps pressing movements.
Grab a bar at shoulder width and position the bar under your chin, resting on the top of your chest as you would with a front squat. Press the weight up and back above your head. The important part of this movement is the push back at the top of the movement.
If you are pushing the weight straight up and forward you will be placing a large amount of stress on your front deltoids and not performing the lift correctly. As you are pressing the weight up, push your head slightly forward and the weight slightly back so are finishing the lift with the weight slight behind the back of your head.
#3 - One Arm Dumbbell PressEveryone wants to press that heavy weight with two hands and tend to forget about single arm, pressing movements. Single-arm pressing movements allow more isolation of the muscle and help fix imbalances within your muscles.
The alternating dumbbell press is a great way to switch up your dumbbell press training. Rather than bring both dumbbells down and pushing up you will keep one dumbbell held up and stabilized above your chest as you bring the other dumbbell down and push up for one rep.
Use a weight you can control for 10-12 reps. You don't want to be using your back and shoulder and twisting your body in an attempt to throw the weight up with your entire your body. Control the weight up and down with your arm and chest so you can feel the squeeze in each pectoral individually.
#4 - Svend PressThe Svend press is a unique, pump-inducing press movement that can be used as a finishing or superset exercise. With this movement you will grab two 10lbs plates and squeeze them in between your hands with your fingertips pointing out in front of you, holding the weights near your chest. Push your arms out, directly in front of you, flexing your chest as you push the weight.
You can also perform this exercise lying down on a flat or incline bench and push the weight up and above your body.
#5 - Reverse-Grip Bench PressThe reverse grip bench press is an excellent pressing movement for those who have should pain or discomfort and are looking for a way to still train their chest with a bench pressing movement.
With this movement you will lie on a bench and grab the barbell with a reverse grip, shoulder-width apart. Perform the same movement style as you would with a normal bench press, focusing on keeping your elbows tight and close to your body. Control the weight, don't lock out your elbows at the top of the movement, and don't let your elbows flare out throughout the movement.
Increase Your Pressing PowerI know you're scared to step away from your normal training routine, but it's about time; Time to switch things up and try something new. Stop the insanity and revamp your press training with these 5 exercises. Get out of your rut and get a hold of the gains that are waiting for you.
For more fitness and nutrition tips subscribe to the MuscleMinds Youtube channel and follow me on Instagram @thebrentness.