The Best Chest Exercise You Aren't Doing
I’d like to take a second and point out that in last week’s piece I blatantly lied to you. The question every personal trainer gets asked the most is “How much do you bench press?”
My answer to this will vary depending on who I am talking to. If it’s a bro with a bottle of vodka in one hand while the other is fist bumping I’ll just say “235”. If it’s an athlete or a trainer I’ll say that I’m not the biggest proponent of the bench press for myself and my anatomy and much prefer the overhead press. If it’s my wife I’ll just take my shirt off and start doing push ups while winking at her. She’s a lucky lady.
The fact of the matter is that the bench press is not the best exercise for developing a strong chest. That would be the pushup followed by various dumbbell presses. Both the pushup and the dumbbell presses incorporate more muscle fibers in both your pecs and shoulders than the bench press. As a personal trainer I would be remiss to not pass those benefits on to my clients.
Another problem with the bench press is that it does not work the inner chest for many people. I like to call this area the “cleavage muscles”. Many people feel and see the bench press developing their outer chest, but fail to develop that masculine line separating the pecs.
The squeeze press will fix this problem. It is a dumbbell variation that hits the entirety of the pectoral complex while also placing a high load on your triceps. I usually superset it with pushups or a row variation.
To perform the Squeeze Press you need 2 dumbbells. Once you’re in starting position on a bench you will forcefully squeeze the dumbbells together and press them straight up. I could never figure out how this exercise got it’s name.
The act of squeezing the weights together will place a high load on your inner chest, and the narrow grip required will torch your triceps. Perform this exercise during your next upper body workout and let me know if you hate it.