While chiselling the chest muscles is an act often associated with grunting gym buffs, chest training certainly isn’t just for bulked-up blokes. Regular chest training is a must for anyone looking to maintain proper posture and maximize other exercise. And this approach is a winner …

When it comes to chest training the A-press is a great move to master. As the A-press uses free weights to work the pectoral muscles you are varying the stimulus from bench work and push-ups, and developing independent left and right motor control.

When you’re bench pressing with a barbell your hands are connected together through the barbell and therefore it’s relatively easy to control the movement. But when you use free weights it demands more concentrated and active control, and alters muscle fiber recruitment. With the A-press you are isolating the pectorals as you move the plates from an outward to inward position, and that’s what generates more tension in the chest muscles.

How to do the perfect A-press

  • Lie on your bench and start with the plates raised and facing each other
  • Move your elbows out and down to create a capital A shape with the plates
  • Brace your abs as your elbows move down to the top of the bench
  • Ensure your elbows are wide at the base and narrow at the top
  • Keep your lower back close to the bench throughout the movement.

TIP: Create muscle isolation by really feeling the chest squeeze as you press up to the top of the A.

What should you do with your legs?

Lying on a bench with your knees slightly higher than your hips will help you to keep your lower back safe and stable as you perform this exercise.

How many should you aim for?

Ideally you should aim to perform four sets of 8-15 repetitions. Make sure you have enough load to be fatigued by the end of each set.

“You certainly know you’ll that you’ve worked your chest after a few sets of A-presses!” Glen Ostergaard, BODYPUMP Creative Director.

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