The pinch press, also known as the Svend press, is an exercise that isolates your chest muscles and builds them in strength, endurance and ultimately growth.
To perform this exercise, you will first need one or two weighted plates before overtime increasing the number of the plates.
When performing this exercise, a firm grip is key to ensure that there is no strain when squeezing the plates.
For example, it will be easier to squeeze two 5kg plates compared to four 2.5kg plates as the former is easier to press on your palms.
This workout uses very minimal equipment and is quite easy to do hence a great exercise for beginners. Unlike other upper body exercises like push-ups, the pinch press reduces the involvement of other secondary muscles focusing mainly on your pectorals.
HOW TO DO PINCH PRESS
To carry out this exercise, you will need weighted plates that can be found in gyms. However, if you wish to do this exercise at home and can’t access a weighted plate, you can get creative and use objects in your house like a stack of books.
To do the exercise:
- Pick your weighted plate with your hands then stand with your feet shoulder width apart
- With your elbows bent press the weighted plate on your palms firmly and bring it to your chest. Keep your chest up to activate its muscles.
- Stretch your arms forward and slightly upwards and squeeze as hard as you can. Your fingers should face forward pointing away from your body.
- Return your arms back to your chest by bending your elbows and keep your core tight throughout this workout.
- While maintaining a neutral spine repeat this exercise for approximately 10-12 reps
If you choose to use more than one plated weight ensure that you squeeze them together to avoid them from falling.
WHAT MUSCLES DO PINCH PRESS WORK
Made up of the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor, these chest muscles are worked throughout the entire workout. Lifting your chest up during this exercise activates your pectorals even more.
The pectoralis major is the largest muscle of your front chest wall and it helps you move your arm towards and away from your chest. The pectoralis minor is found under the pectoralis major and it aids you move the weighted plate away from your chest and towards your chest
As you work your pectorals, your triceps will also be worked. The triceps also known as the triceps brachii is a muscle located at the back of your upper limb and is actively used as you move your elbow joint in straightening your arms.
Triceps also offer balance and stability to your arms and shoulders boosting your range of motion and keeping you more flexible throughout the exercise
BENEFITS OF PINCH PRESS
ISOLATES CHEST MUSCLES
Pinch press creates muscle fatigue and specifically puts tension on your chest muscles. When performing this exercise, you will experience a burn in your chest, particularly your inner pectorals leading to muscle hypertrophy.
Placing a weighted plate in the middle of your chest targets your chest muscles building your chest muscle and hand grip endurance. Although the main focus of this exercise are your chest muscles, other muscles are also targeted nonetheless.
This workout offers muscle strength with very minimal equipment used. All you need is a weighted plate to train yourself and overtime improve your muscle strength and growth.
Since there is more time to put your chest under tension, your muscles will automatically get stronger. Accompany this exercise with other chest workouts for a boost in muscle strength.
The pinch press is not only a great alternative for beginners but also is one of the best options to work your chest around shoulder, back and elbow injuries. It accommodates any of the aforementioned injuries by putting very minimal pressure on them.
With this, you can easily fast-track your healing process by still exercising your upper body, specifically your chest. Nevertheless, consult with your doctor before exercising around an injury.
ALTERNATIVES TO PINCH PRESS
FLAT BENCH PRESS
You will need a flat bench, either dumbbells or a barbell bar and a spotter to ensure safety as you do this exercise. Always keep your back straight and use weights that are not too heavy to avoid hurting yourself
- On the flat bench, lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Grip the barbell with your palms facing away from you and lift the bar up.
- Pause with your arms straight then slowly lower the bar close to your chest by bending your elbows to a 45-degree angle.
- Pause again for a few seconds then press the barbell up then repeat the exercise
- Do 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
This exercise requires no equipment and it really works your pectorals and tricep brachii. This exercise uses various muscle groups although its focus is in the pectorals and triceps.
- Start this exercise on a plank position where your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width and your legs are straight.
- While maintaining a neutral spine, lower your chest to the ground by bending your elbows to a 45-degree angle. Go as low as you can while keeping your core tight then press your chest from the floor by straightening your elbows
- Repeat for 3 sets.
You will need a dip station for this exercise that actively focuses on your chest muscles as well as your triceps and core.
- Begin by standing on two parallel bars and with your hands firmly grip them, your palms facing inwards. Press into your hands and lift your body upwards by straightening your elbows.
- Afterwards, lower your chest to your hands by bending your elbows then pause before raising your body up again.
- Repeat for 3 sets
PINCH PRESS MISTAKES TO AVOID
INCREASING THE WEIGHTS
It is easy to assume that just because you are using minimal equipment, you should increase the load carried to increase the challenge. This is wrong as stacking more than two or three weighted plated will only lead to them dropping and you probably hurting yourself.
In most cases, the number of plates matters more than the weight where a one 10kg plate is better to hold than three 2.5 kg plates. From the example, you see that it is better to use weighted plates that you can grip firmly and with no strain than to stack up on weights that you can’t control.
Correct form is always key in every exercise as it will ensure that the right muscles are targeted and tension is not lost in the process. Proper form while performing a pinch press includes; a straight back, tight core and a neutral spine.
Ensure that your fingers are pointing away from you and that your arms don’t drop too low as you lower the plates. If you find yourself in an improper form, take your time to find balance in your body and reduce your load if you are carrying many plates.
EXERCISING WHILE INJURED
Even though this exercise allows you to train your chest while injured, you should never do this with zero caution.
Performing this exercise on current upper body injuries without consulting your doctor may lead to delay in healing or complete damage of the injured parts.
To be able to train your chest safely amid injuries, talk to your doctor for a go-ahead so as not to strain your injured muscles even further.
The pinch press is easy to learn and the fact that it uses very minimal equipment makes it easier to incorporate into your workout plan for chest muscles. As long as you maintain correct form and avoid heavy weighted plates, you will enjoy this exercise.
For a challenge, be sure to include this exercise alongside other exercises to boost your muscle strength, growth and endurance.