Hammer Grip Chest Press

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I prefer to do all my chest presses using the HammerStrength machines and dumbbells, but I like the FreeMotion Chest machine to do the chest press using a hammer grip. It uses a cable pulley system so that it will provide you with constant resistance for both the pressing and releasing (positive and negative) movements of this exercise. The swivel handle system that comes with this machine also allows for a wider range of movement providing you with more variety in your workouts and working your muscles a little bit differently. This exercise I prefer to do more for chest definition rather than for bulk. If you do not have this machine I recommend the Nautilus machines that use a pulley system for this hammer grip chest press exercise.



Method of Performance

The seat of the machine is already in a slight incline position and is not adjustable, but the swivel handle of the machine compensates for this, so it will fit anyone safely. Reaching the handles may be a little difficult so I recommend you attach slightly longer handles. Personally, I like to use slightly longer handles which allow me to easily reach back for them when I am using heavy weight settings.

Set the desired amount for the weights.

Grasping each handle in the hammer grip position (knuckles facing down and forward - vertically) and at chest height, press simultaneously directly forward for both sides and breathe out as you do so. Your elbows will or should remain slightly bent at the top of the movement.

Release by breathing in and returning to the starting position. Go only as far back as you can so that you feel a little stretch in the chest, but don’t overdo it. By going to far back you may hurt yourself.

Also, use your core muscles for stability and support and keep your abs tucked in. This allows you to use your chest and your upper body secondary muscles to do the work without your midsection moving.

Do about 4-5 sets of 12 reps.

Of course you can also do this exercise with your knuckles facing upwards and forwards (horizontally), the more traditional grasp that you would normally use.


Variation of Chest Presses and Exercises

This machine is incredibly versatile allowing you to do many different types of chest presses and flyes.

You can do the chest press in an incline position by pressing upwards using a traditional hand grip or a hammer grip. Same way as you do the hammer grip chest press described above, but your hands and movement would be in an upward trajectory.

You can also do decline chest presses using the two different grips or even flyes for the chest which I do use this machine for once in awhile. The flyes are performed by grasping the handles with both palms facing inwards, towards each other and then bringing the two handles towards each other in front of you.

As you can see this chest machine offers you a choice from a variety of different chest exercises that can be done or that you can choose to do each working your chest muscles a little differently.


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