Getting stuck in a training rut happens to the best of us. We start a new workout plan with specific exercises, specific rep ranges, specific rest times, and a specific amount of days to work out each week.
If you are seeing results and progressively getting stronger week after week from a particular program, then you are on the right track. Adding more weight to your lifts or performing more repetitions with a particular weight are the types of results you should be seeing within your training program.
But, let’s say you’ve been running a program now for 2-3 months without any change in your strength or appearance. You’re doing the same thing over and over and the results remain the same. That’s the definition of insanity, right?
If you are currently stuck within your own training rut then it may be time to revamp your program and introduce some new movements you’ve never done before. It’s time you take a look at your workout routine to see how you can improve your strength and development.
In 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
This 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.
A 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.
One Arm Dumbbell Press
Everyone 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.
The 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.
Reverse-Grip Bench Press
The 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.