Tip: Activate Your Pecs, Press Heavier

Use this as an assistance movement or as an activation exercise prior to a chest hypertrophy workout.


The Standing Forward Press

I recently started playing around with clubbells. If you don't already know, they're heavy clubs that look a little like short baseball bats. They weigh between 5 and 45 pounds. While they're used mostly for swings and other dynamic motions, you can also use them for slower hypertrophy movements.

Don't worry, you won't have to buy clubbells to do the exercise below. It can be done with a dumbbell or even a weight plate.

With the clubbell chest press, start with the 'bell held in both hands (close to you) at around mid-abdomen height. Then press forward in a slight upward arc so that the arms end up fully extended with your hands around mouth level.

Another key: squeeze in with both arms. The mental image I have is to try and push my pecs up with my arms.

If you do the squeeze-in action, it'll properly engage the pecs. And by nature, this exercise already hits the delts, arms, and forearms (with the clubbell).

Try it with a dumbbell. Hold the handle so it's parallel to the floor and hold the dumbbell by pressing on the outer portion of the plates, trying to crush it with both hands.

This isn't a heavily loaded exercise. It's more important to focus on squeezing in with your arms than lifting more weight. Try doing this for more reps, even up to 30. Try using a timer and do a set over 45-60 seconds, going for smooth, controlled movements.

Use this as an assistance exercise or as an activation movement prior to a chest workout.

Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.