A New Way to Hit Your Chest
Rock your chest with our new exercise! We are proud to announce the release of a brilliant new upper chest exercise pioneered by yours’ truly.
The Brief Backstory
I came up with the movement as I was suffering from a niggle in my elbow and was forced to switch from incline bench press to reverse-grip bench press.
Browsing the internet, I came across an article on the “Squeeze Press” — a movement I did a couple of times in my younger years.
This was something that interested me in my switch to bodybuilding as the inner chest is not a forte for a lot of people.
(Losing fat and overall pec develop will help contribute towards a better inner chest.)
Then I thought about how it could be manipulated to transfer activation over to the upper pecs.
Since I had been doing a lot of reverse-grip bench presses instead of incline bench, I considered whether it was feasible to do a reverse-grip squeeze press to get the best of both worlds.
And since I couldn’t do these exercises at home I thought to trial them when I finally had access to gym-standard dumbbells.
Lo and behold! It was a stellar success.
Why You Should Try It
In the upcoming months, we will be coming out with an eBook and program on how to become more “handsome” and one of the key points was making the upper pec cleavage pop.
Traditionally, apart from general upper chest mass building exercises, the best way to develop this stubborn area — apart from favorable genetics — is the low-to-high cable crossover, focusing on squeezing at peak contraction.
However, it’s often relegated to the end of a workout and abandoned as a mere afterthought at times.
My friend and I can comfortably rep out 3 plates on the bench, but we struggled to hit 30lb DBs on this for ten reps.
This exercise DOES NOT require an awful lot of weight.
Using a combined dumbbell total of around 25% of your bench press one rep max is a good place to start before adding more weight.
And apart from tearing up the upper pecs, it will give your anterior deltoids and triceps some stimulation — like, practically all pressing exercises.
If you watch Julian, you’ll see that his upper inner pecs are significantly activated throughout most of the movement. And, unlike the traditional DB press, the Herculean Press starts significantly lower down, closer to the belly — which is something that might take some getting used to.
How To Do It
Closely watch the video above.
Turn your thumbs outwards, using a supinated grip, instead of inwards and slightly pronated grip. In other words, your grip is adopting a full 180 degree turn to a traditional dumbbell press.
Then push your arms inwards and imagine that you are trying to hold an imagined object between the dumbbells. You can practice by trying to hold a sheet of paper between the dumbbells.
Bring the dumbbells down to just below your ribcage (a few inches lower than were you’d normally go with a conventional dumbbell bench press) and press up over your sternum, focusing on contracting your inner upper pecs.
You should strive to hit 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps at the end of your session with this exercise to help you develop the stubborn part of your upper chest.
The first set is going to feel weird and uncomfortable — as it certainly with me!
I recommend picking a low weight and working up. In fact, the very first time you try it, there’s no need to go all the way to a full working set. It is such a novel movement to your body that practicing will be enough of a working set in itself.
Once you’re comfortable with the movement, you can program it into your workout accordingly.
Another buddy struggled (filmed above) to hit sets of 12 with 22lb dumbbells at the end of his chest session.
While the puny weights may seem laughable, I guarantee that they’re more than enough to stimulate the area effectively.
We supersetted the Herculean Press with low-to-high cable crossovers to fully burn out that inner-upper pec portion at the end of the session.
You can thank me later.
Putting It Into Practice
How to program it into a workout:
As we’ve previously mentioned, this exercise doesn’t need a lot of weight and would be most useful when some fatigue has set in.
Incline Bench Press 4×8
Flat Dumbbell Press 3×10
Weighted Dips 3xAMRAP
Floor Flyes 3×12
Herculean Press 4×10
If you liked our signature chest exercise, be sure to check out our lower body strength developer, too:
Don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] for personalized coaching and a client questionnaire if you’d like DEDICATED tailor-made personal training on strength training, building muscle, losing fat, developing athleticism, and more — all to your liking, lifestyle, habits, and taste!
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