Whether you take it to the floor or the bench, overhaul your upper-body power with this press
Learn to master the chest press
Imagine the ‘I must, I must, I must increase my bust’ move got an adult makeover and you have the chest press. Forget about growing a pair (face it, if you’re past puberty, your cup measurement is pretty much set – and there’s obviously no right or wrong size) and realise this move is a winner. Chest presses improve power when it comes to sports performance. Got a Tough Mudder coming up? Taking on a triathlon? Add this to your gym regime now. Plus, increased bone density (to safeguard against osteoporosis) and improved upper-body flexibility are both added perks. ‘In this simple move, you’re engaging several of the muscles in the front upper shoulder, ribcage and triceps,’ says personal trainer Marelize Esterhuizen. And yes, to hark back to that schoolyard refrain, the chest press does actually perk your girls up a little. ‘Remember that muscles respond best to a challenge, so don’t be afraid to lift heavy,’ says Esterhuizen. ‘But,’ adds sports physiotherapist Ria Sandenbergh, ‘it’s also important to give your muscles a break, so do this move three times a week with a rest between training days. Aim for two sets of five to eight reps.’
Your joints are hypermobile or you’re prone to shoulder injuries.