Tip: Weight Plate Squeeze

Do this exercise before a chest workout to activate the pecs, or after a chest workout to really finish it off. Squeeze as hard as possible for 20 seconds per set.

This exercise can be used for an activation drill, a method of pre-exhausting the pecs and shoulders, or as a finisher exercise at the end of chest day.

Sandwich two plates together and bring them out in front of your body as if you were completing a chest flye. The pecs and front delts have to work hard to keep the plates together and to keep the arms from dropping down.

Start with 3-4 sets of 20 seconds. If you can work up to a whole minute, you'd be pretty beastly. Five to ten pound plates should do the trick for most lifters. To ramp up the intensity, squeeze a third plate between the two.


  1. Don't just hold the plates together. Try to crush them together using a strong pectoral contraction.
  2. A slight bend in the arms is fine, but keep the arms fairly "long" for greater mechanical disadvantage.
  3. For a better and safer pec contraction, keep the creases of your elbows facing the ceiling; don't let them turn in to face each other. Applying slightly more force from the pinky side of your hand can help with this.
  4. Don't stick your fingers under the plates or use the holes, cheater.
  5. Iron plates work the best due to the low amount of friction between the plates. If you only have access to coated plates (ones that tend to stick together), put two pieces of paper between the plates to minimize friction.
Drew Murphy is a gym owner and personal trainer located in Tiffin, Iowa. Out of his facility, he trains clients using a wide range of strength and conditioning methods.  Follow Drew Murphy on Instagram