The machine chest press is a great alternative to the bench press because there’s less setup and it’s a safer way to train with heavier weight if you don’t have a spotter. The exercise targets the chest muscles, or pectorals, with the triceps and shoulder as secondary muscles involved during the movement.
The machine chest press is also a great option for when you want to stimulate your chest and get in a quick workout without having to worry about setup and stabilization when training with free weight exercises (Barbells, dumbbells etc). Many people are against machines for working out because they lock you in a fixed position but modern equipment makes this less of an issue. You can get great results with the machine chest press and it’s a highly recommended exercise.
In this Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Sternal (Lower) Pectoralis Major
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: compound
- Equipment: Chest press machine
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Adjust the seat on the machine so the handles are level with the mid or lower chest.
- Sit in the seat, grip the handles and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Slightly arch your back, keep your elbows lower than your shoulders, and press the weight until your arms are extended but don’t lock your elbows out.
- Slowly allow the weight to come back until you feel a little stretch in your chest muscles.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips
- You can use a neutral grip alternatively which is safer for the shoulders.
- Keep your elbows lower than your shoulders to protect the joint from injury.
- The machine chest press is ideal when you want to train heavy but don’t have a spotter.
- Your triceps and shoulders also get stimulated from the chest press.
- Always make sure the handles are at mid or lower chest for optimum safety.