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How To Do The Chest Press


Updated June 17, 2014

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How To Do The Chest Press -- Starting Position
Positioning for the chest press

Positioning for the chest press

(c) Paul Rogers

The chest press is a versatile exercise that can be performed with barbells, dumbbells, bar and plates or even with resistance bands. It develops mainly the pectoral muscles of the chest. A qualified trainer is recommended to guide you through appropriate execution, particularly for more serious bench pressing with heavy weights. This description uses dumbbells.

Positioning the Body

  • Lie on the bench or floor with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet flat on the surface. If you use a bench, you may have the feet up on the bench or on the floor, whichever is comfortable for bench height and your body and leg length.

  • Position the dumbbells at the shoulders with upper arms at about 45 degrees to the body with elbows forward of the shoulder line to avoid stress on the shoulder joint. The palms should face forward.

  • Brace the abdominal muscles, tilt the chin slightly toward the chest and ensure you have a stable and comfortable position. You're ready to lift.

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