For those who practice your chest severely, you’ve in all probability achieved loads of barbell bench urgent. And dumbbell urgent. Oh, and you may’t neglect the incline press for these higher pecs, in fact. After which there’s the decline press for the lower chest. In reality, you’ve in all probability achieved extra chest urgent than you’d care to confess. Possibly it’s time to place a brand new spin on issues.
An excellent chest exercise ought to take your pecs by means of their full contractile vary of movement whereas additionally partaking your shoulders and triceps. Most presses accomplish this simply high-quality, however you’ll be able to’t at all times really feel your chest working within the course of.
The hex press will get you there. This motion incorporates some isometric tension and actually elevates your urgent sport by not solely urgent together with your chest, however squeezing the muscle collectively within the course of. The result’s a world-class pump and a few upper-body features besides. Right here’s tips on how to do it.
For those who sometimes carry out dumbbell chest presses in your exercise, you might have the whole lot it’s essential to grasp the hex press. Nevertheless, do take observe that the kind of dumbbells you utilize could influence your efficiency.
Cylindrical dumbbells may make the train harder to carry out. You probably have hexagonal dumbbells — therefore, hex press — you’re good to go.
Step 1 — Seize Some Dumbbells
Seize a moderate-to-heavy pair of dumbbells and sit on the tip of a weight bench. In a single swift however managed movement, kick off the ground together with your ft and rock backward. Straighten your arms as you lie down on the bench and firmly plant your ft.
Coach’s Tip: “Kicking” your self into place for a dumbbell press takes a little bit of finesse to study. Ensure you brace your core.
Step 2 — Maintain the Weights Collectively
Brace your core and maintain the dumbbells collectively at arm’s size above your shoulders. That is an important bit; your palms ought to face each other and the edges of every dumbbell ought to make direct contact with each other.
Coach’s Tip: Actively push the dumbbells collectively as when you have been attempting to fuse them into one weight.
Step 3 — Decrease and Press
With the edges of the dumbbells firmly pressed collectively, decrease the weights down towards your stomach. As soon as the weights make contact together with your chest, press them again to the beginning place. Preserve them in touch with each other your complete time.
Coach’s Tip: Preserve your arms tucked tightly to your sides as you decrease the weights throughout the hex press.
In relation to programming, the hex press matches properly into any set-rep scheme you’d sometimes use on your common dumbbell presses. For those who want a refresher, listed here are a few alternative ways you’ll be able to go about implementing hex press units and reps:
- For Inexperienced persons: Preserve it easy with 3 units of 10 reps and a reasonable weight.
- For Muscle Progress: Attempt 4 units of 8 reps, pushing near muscular failure.
- For Energy: Attempt 5 units of 6 reps with a heavy weight and ample relaxation.
It will not be as difficult as an train like the snatch — or perhaps a customary barbell bench press — however there’s nonetheless lots that may go flawed throughout the hex press. Preserve these technical parts in thoughts earlier than you begin banging out units of hex presses.
Not Sustaining Contact
The defining characteristic of the hex press is that the dumbbells stay firmly pressed collectively throughout the set. For those who can’t keep this contact, you’re primarily performing a easy neutral-grip dumbbell press. So, it doesn’t matter what, be certain that if you carry out the hex press, the weights you’re holding stay firmly in touch with one another.
Not Touching Your Chest
Take away the distinctive setup and execution and also you’re left with a chest press like another, which suggests it’s best to in all probability be utilizing a full range of motion. Whereas the precise level of contact for the hex press will differ from different urgent motions, barring an harm or bodily limitation, it’s best to make an effort to the touch the weights to your chest on each rep.
To carry the dumbbells collectively throughout the hex press necessitates a pleasant tucked arm place. You want impartial wrists to correctly carry out the hex press, which suggests externally rotating your shoulder and dropping the weights low in your chest.
In case your elbows are flaring out, there’s probability that you simply aren’t retaining the edges of the dumbbells in touch with one another, thus defeating the aim of the motion.
There are way more customizable train choices on the market than the hex press. That stated, you’ll be able to nonetheless put a twist or two on the motion to introduce some selection. Check out these variations when you’re curious:
Incline Hex Press
The incline hex press is a stable possibility if you wish to emphasize your higher chest. Place an adjustable bench at a low incline (assume anyplace from 15 to 30 levels) and carry out the motion as you usually would.
The inclined floor gives extra vary of movement at your shoulder, which ought to emphasize your upper pecs. Observe, although, that working from an incline will doubtless scale back the quantity of weight you should utilize throughout the hex press.
Cable Hex Press
Unsurprisingly, a cable station will improve your expertise with the hex press. Fixed muscular rigidity and an adjustable station make for a stable recipe for muscle growth.
Observe, although, that this train could really feel awkward if the 2 cable attachments are too far aside. The additional aside every fixture is, the additional you’ll should stroll out with the cables in-hand. Nonetheless, it’s a terrific possibility for retaining fixed rigidity in your pecs.
For those who can’t get the hex press down pat however nonetheless benefit from the train on paper, you’re in luck. These hex press alternate options present comparable advantages to the motion in query however are totally different sufficient to be stimulating and enjoyable on their very own advantage.
Bodyweight exercises aren’t simply for rookies. With the suitable modifications, even the common-or-garden push-up can develop into fairly difficult. To imitate the calls for of the hex press with simply your individual physique weight, strive the diamond push-up as a substitute.
This motion locations your arms in the same place as you’d discover throughout the hex press. You may even slap a weight plate in your again for some additional resistance if crucial, however you may discover that the diamond push-up is lots difficult by itself.
Cable Chest Press
Cables are a bodybuilder’s greatest good friend, and for good purpose. They supply constant mechanical rigidity to the muscle or muscle mass you’re attempting to work and include almost infinite customization choices.
An excellent cable chest press will stimulate the 2 major features of the pecs: Pushing your arm ahead in house and drawing your arm inward towards your midline. It might be tough to arrange in a busy gym, however the cable chest press is a unbelievable substitute for the hex press if you may make it work.
Shut-Grip Bench Press
To ante up on the mechanical rigidity and strength-building potential, swap out the hex press and work with the barbell as a substitute. The close-grip bench press will torch your chest, positive, but it surely additionally works your triceps and anterior deltoids.
Extra particularly, your bar path throughout the close-grip bench press must be almost an identical to the way you’d transfer your dumbbells throughout the hex press. It is best to subsequently expertise some respectable carryover between the 2 workout routines.
Understanding how your physique interacts with the workout routines you carry out can elevate your outcomes. You may optimize your approach and apply extra effort on a set-by-set foundation if you already know the “how” and the “why” behind the actions in your exercise. Right here’s how your physique works throughout the hex press.
The pectoralis main attaches out of your sternum to your higher arm bone and has two distinct heads; sternocostal and clavicular. Your pecs primarily draw your arm laterally towards your midline. This movement comes into play throughout each presses and flye workout routines. You’ll discover your chest doing many of the work throughout the backside half of the hex press.
The pec minor is a deep tissue that sits beneath your pecs correct and truly attaches to your shoulder blade. That is the muscle that most individuals try to coach after they need to stimulate their “higher chests.”
Attributable to its anatomical insertion, you’ll be able to have interaction your pec minor by selecting chest exercises that contain extra shoulder flexion. The hex press is an exceptional choice right here, particularly when you carry out it on an inclined floor.
Your triceps sit on the again of your higher arm, however they really connect all the way in which out of your shoulder blade down onto your forearm. In the course of the hex press, your triceps stabilize your elbow joint as you decrease the weights. They’re the first extensor in play throughout the prime half of the repetition as you come the dumbbells to the beginning place.
Any chest press train you carry out will contain the musculature in your shoulders to a point. Your anterior deltoids, that are one in all three sections of the deltoid musculature, help your pecs all through your complete vary of movement of the hex press. Don’t count on a lot muscular engagement within the lateral or rear deltoids throughout horizontal presses, although.
It gained’t clear up all of your chest gain woes in a single fell swoop, however the hex press isn’t with out its personal perk bundle. In reality, the advantages out there to you go approach past novelty. Right here’s what you stand to achieve from moving into the hex press.
Simple to Carry out
Logistics are front-of-mind on the subject of designing workout program. You may have probably the most well-crafted, meticulously designed routine on the earth, however when you can’t get into the fitness center and full it within the first place, you’re out of luck.
The hex press features factors for comfort. All you want is an out there bench and a pair of dumbbells — each of which it’s best to be capable of get ahold of, even in a busy fitness center. The approach can be comparatively easy and simple to study. One follow session ought to have you ever up and operating.
Selection is the spice of life. Within the weight room, switching issues up may help you stay mentally engaged together with your exercises, sweetening the outcomes you in the end earn. The hex press is distinct sufficient from different chest presses to be productive, however comparable sufficient that you simply gained’t really feel such as you’re straying into uncharted territory.
A Nice Thoughts-Muscle Connection
For those who battle to essentially really feel your pecs engaged on Worldwide Chest Day, it’s essential to know a couple of issues. First, the mind-muscle connection is an actual phenomenon and does influence your features on some degree. Nevertheless, analysis isn’t conclusive about whether or not it actually impacts muscle development long-term. (1)
That stated, when you can really feel the goal muscle working, you’ll in all probability be extra motivated to coach. The setup of the hex press actually encourages actively contracting your pecs from begin to end by forcing you to press the weights in opposition to each other.
If you wish to build muscle, it’s best to do the hex press. For those who’re bored of your customary dumbbell urgent, you can provide the hex press a go. For these and lots of extra causes, you’re in all probability in the suitable place.
If You Solely Have Mild Weights
You don’t want entry to ultra-heavy weights to construct and practice your chest — although they definitely assist. Making probably the most out of a lightweight exercise is all about choosing workout routines that compromise your leverage.
The setup and execution of the hex press is acceptable right here; you could not be capable of press as a lot as you’ll be able to on a normal dumbbell press, but it surely’ll nonetheless be fairly difficult on your pecs. Go for the hex press and bang out some high-rep sets when you don’t have heavier dumbbells to work with.
Bodybuilders or These With Physique Objectives
If you wish to put on muscle, it’s best to make the most of all kinds of actions. The usual bench press is all effectively and good, however it’s best to take into account swapping within the hex press to diversify your chest training.
Along with the novelty, the hex press may mean you can proceed coaching your higher physique with out accumulating as a lot put on and tear in your shoulder, elbow, or wrist joints, since you’ll be able to’t carry as closely to start with.
A Recent Press
The hex press flies beneath the radar of chest workout routines. For those who’ve by no means plugged it into your exercises earlier than, you’re positively lacking out. Holding two dumbbells in opposition to one another whilst you press not solely will increase the stability demands of the motion, however considerably will increase the problem in your pecs. Attempt it for your self and also you’ll see the juice is well worth the squeeze.
Unsure concerning the hex press? No biggie. Take a look at these frequent inquiries to put your fears to relaxation.
Why is it known as a hex press?
The train’s identify comes from the kind of tools you need to use. You probably have hexagonal dumbbells, you’re in enterprise for the hex press, for the reason that edges of the weights collapse flatly in opposition to one another.
Cylindrical dumbbells work simply high-quality, although they’re tougher to manage since they’re liable to roll previous one another as you press.
Do I would like hexagonal dumbbells to do the hex press?
No! So long as you’ll be able to comfortably push a pair of dumbbells into one another, you’re good to go together with the hex press. Hexagonally-shaped dumbbells are simply the best and most handy possibility.
- Schoenfeld, B. J., Vigotsky, A., Contreras, B., Golden, S., Alto, A., Larson, R., Winkelman, N., & Paoli, A. (2018). Differential results of attentional focus methods throughout long-term resistance coaching. European journal of sport science, 18(5), 705–712.
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