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How to Do Chest Press: A Comprehensive Guide

Achieve a stronger and more defined chest with our comprehensive guide on how to perform the chest press, a fundamental exercise for upper body strength.

  • 19 Oct 2023
  • 4 min read

The chest press is a fundamental and immensely potent workout, focusing on the chest, shoulders and triceps muscles. Whether you’re a gym veteran or starting to embark on your fitness journey, mastery over the chest press holds power. It  can markedly enhance your upper body potency and holistic fitness. Within this piece, we shall guide you through the correct method and sequential actions for how to do chest presses with utmost safety and efficacy.


Steps to do a chest press

Here are a few steps on how to do chest press properly.


  • Warm-up

Kickstart your workout by engaging in a 5-10 minute warm-up session, incorporating gentle cardiovascular activities and dynamic stretches. These actions will prime your muscles for the upcoming physical activity.


  • Choose your gear

The chest press exercise offers flexibility in equipment selection — pick from a barbell, dumbbell, or chest press machine. Opt for the gear that aligns with your fitness level and available resources.


  • Arrange your position
  1. Lay on your back with your feet on a bench.
  2. Adjust the machine seat and handles to allow elbows to form a 90-degree angle while grasping handles.
  3. Ensure your back, shoulders and head maintain contact with the bench or backrest.


  • Hold and hand placement

Secure an overhand grip on the barbell or dumbbells, slightly broader than your shoulder width. Maintaining wrist alignment with your forearms ensures proper wrist positioning throughout the exercise.


  • Lift the weight

In the case of a barbell, lift it off the rack with assistance from a spotter. While lying on the bench, hoist dumbbells to shoulder level, then extend your arms upward to initiate the movement.


  • Lower the load
  1. Lower the barbell or dumbbells to your chest slowly.
  2. Keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your chest.
  3. Keep your core engaged to maintain stability.

Also read:

  • Press the weight
  • Exhale and push the weight upward by extending your elbows while slightly bending. Keep your chest muscles active while you perform the exercise. Keep your shoulder blades completely pressed against the bench or backrest to avoid unnecessary strain on your shoulders.


    • Full extension

    At the movement's peak, with arms fully extended, pause while contracting your chest muscles. This maximises the contraction and benefits of the exercise.


    • Lower the weight again

    Inhale as you slowly lower the weight right back to your starting position. Maintain control over the descent to engage your muscles throughout the entire range of motion.


    • Complete the set

    Repeat the pressing motion for the desired number of repetitions, typically 8-12 for muscle building. Ensure that each repetition follows a smooth and controlled movement.



    Knowing how to do a chest press at home can help you do it correctly and avail its benefits. The chest press exercise offers adaptability across various fitness levels and personal preferences. While executed by these guidelines with the correct stance, you can proficiently draw in your chest, shoulders and triceps, all while limiting the risk of injury. It’s vital to heed your body’s signs and look for direction from a fitness expert if you feel unsure about your posture or strategy. Also, ensure that you have a health insurance plan to safeguard yourself against any financial stress. 

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