Exercise of the Month

Every month we choose one exercise to showcase by showing some of the variations that are in our exercise library. To view the complete library, download our free ExerGuide app, or if you are a trainer or gym owner, sign up to Trainer+

Chest Press

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*Click on image to see the more information about that variation.

Variation 1: Push Ups

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Equipment:

Body-weight, Floor

Why this variation?

This is the most versatile variation of this movement as it requires no equipment and can be modified using a wall or bar, or starting on your knees for less difficult variations. Similarly, it can be modified in other ways by adding instability, resistance, or dynamicism for more difficult variations. This versatility can be used in a number of ways in your workout program, as a warm up before loaded chest press exercises, as a finisher at the end of workouts, stacked after a loaded chest press for overload, if you are doing a bodyweight workout, or as an interval in HIIT training.

 

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Variation 2: Dumbbell Chest Press

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Equipment: 

Dumbbells, Bench

Why this Variation?

This is the easiest variation of this movement as it is done in a stable environment (bench) and can be performed with a light weight. It is also more functional than the bench press, as each arm is working independently, increasing the instability for wrist, elbow and shoulder. This variation can be used in many different programming phases, as you can still load the movement heavy enough for strength/max phases, light enough for getting started/adaptation, or as a change up from a more static chest press.

 

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Variation 3: Standing Cable Chest Press

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Equipment:

Cable Machine, 2 Pulleys

Why this Variation?

This is the most functional variation of this movement as it is done from a standing position, with core engaged, and maximum instability for wrist, elbow and shoulder. This means that in addition to the cable providing constant instability throughout the movement as you push through, you have to work from your toes, through your core and all the way to your fingertips in this variation. While this provides much more overall muscle engagement and a more functional strength, it also limits or lessens the amount of load that you can put on the movement in this environment. This variation can be used in phases focused on functional strength (stability) or calorie burning, as an alternative or complement to more static variations, or in the case where the facility only has cables or a universal machine.

 

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Variation 4: Bench Press

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Equipment:

Barbel, Bench

Why this Variation?

This is the most stable, loaded variation of this movement, laying on the bench as the environment and moving the barbell with both hands together. This means that you should be able to generate the most force for this movement from this variation and perform the heaviest loads. This variation is good for phases focused on strength or max strength, and is also a good starting point when doing adaptation or first starting to lift weights.

 

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Variation 5: Exercise Ball Chest Press

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Equipment: 

Dumbells, Exercise Ball

Why this variation?

This is the most balanced variation of this movement as it provides enough instability for functional strength, but a setup and environment that still allow you to load heavy enough for a strength or max phase. Laying on the ball forces core and lower body engagement for the movement, while the dumbbells, allow for even more instability in wrist, elbow and shoulder as well. This variation can be used in any phase as a way of increasing functionality, calorie burn or balance, or a a switch up from another variation of this movement.

 

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