How To Do The Plate Chest Press Properly

The plate chest press is a chest sculpting exercise that utilises two weight plates to engage a number of areas including the chest.

Building the chest is an arduous process; it requires patience and balance. This is particularly when it comes to sculpting a full chest with uniform width.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a quick fix, unfortunately, the plate chest press isn’t the answer. It however utilises the most effective aspect of building a strong chest – the press.

This is because the major movement while doing this exercise emphasises movements involving squeezing your muscles together. This generates tension which is the ultimate goal.

Therefore, to do the plate chest press. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Grab a stack of weight plates preferably 2 and squeeze them between your palms
  • Bring the plates to the middle of your chest with your fingers pointing away from your body
  • Retract your shoulder blades and keep your chest up and your back straight. This creates the allocation and framework to isolate your chest and avoid using your lats or shoulders.
  • Extend your arms forward and slightly upward
  • Reverse your arms in the exact same movement pattern

WHAT MUSCLES DO THE PLATE CHEST PRESS WORK?

UPPER PECS

When doing the plate chest press the upper pec is one of the most actively engaged areas. This is due to the shoulder flexion which is necessary to complete the exercise.

The connection to the shoulder comes about as a result of the link between the muscle fibres found in the upper neck and those found in the collarbone.

These fibres end up acting as a bridge that creates a bionic connection between the two parts. Therefore, every time you flex your shoulder to move the plates up or forward you engage the upper pec.

LOWER PECS

The lower pecs play a different role compared to the upper pecs whenever you do the plate chest press.

This is because the area has muscle fibres linked to the sternum which facilitates horizontal movements.

As such the slant horizontal movements while doing the exercise engages the lower pecs.

REAR DELTOIDS

The rear deltoids refer to the rear most head of the shoulders. Since the plate chest press involves raising your arms, the rear deltoids are naturally engaged.

The rear deltoid works with the back muscles to help hoist and keep the weight plates as high as they are required.

BICEPS

The biceps play a support role when doing the plate chest press. This is largely the case for instance when you’re holding the weight plates up.

The biceps also play a regulatory role in regard to momentum. They help regulate the momentum of your movements while doing the exercise

CORE

The core is one the most important areas to engage while doing the plate chest. This is because the core builds a foundation upon which the effectiveness of your actions is rooted.

Engaging the core also ensures that you’re isolating the right muscles and concurrently avoiding injuries.

PLATE CHEST PRESS BENEFITS

IT IS EFFICIENT

The plate chest press exercise is an extremely efficient exercise.

This is because it requires minimal equipment and its movements are tailored to ensure you get the best results packed in the smallest of movements.

BUILDS THE PECTORAL MUSCLES

The base movements while doing the plate chest press create isolation of the pecs. This is a unique approach that is sustainable.

It ensures that the pecs are engaged for an extensive period without causing injuries.

This is contradictory to other chest building exercises which bring about hypertrophy and strength but can only be done for so long before you tire out or the strain becomes too much.

CAN BE USED AS A REHABILITATIVE MEASURE

The low impact nature of the plate chest press makes it so that you are able to get the chest and shoulder area strong again after an injury.

During an injury, the affected area is often unengaged and this is what causes weakness in these areas.

It is therefore paramount that you engage these areas. This is the rehabilitative aspect that is brought about by doing the plate chest press.

It works an injured area without excessive strain allowing the section to get stronger.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE PLATE CHEST PRESS

There are a number of different ways you can achieve the same results as you would with the plate chest press.

They include:

DIPS

Dips are primarily an exercise that targets the triceps. However the chest and shoulder are also engaged. To do the exercise:

  • Grab the parallel bars and jump up, straighten your arms
  • Lower your body by bending your arms while leaning forward
  • Dip down until your shoulders are below your elbows
  • Lift your body up by straightening your arms
  • Lock your elbows at the top

DUMBBELL FLY

To do this exercise:

  • You start by lying down on a flat bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other.
  • Lift the dumbbells as if you were pressing them
  • Bend your elbows slightly and lower your arms at both sides.
  • Keep lowering your arms until you feel a stretch on your chest
  • Bring your arms back to the starting position

BARBELL FLOOR PRESS

To do the barbell floor press:

  • Lie face up on the floor holding a barbell at chest height.
  • Press up as if you were on a normal bench until your arms are fully extended.
  • Then slowly lower back to the starting position.

MISTAKES TO AVOID

POKING ELBOWS

Your elbow position is crucial to enabling the isolation of the shoulder and chest. Therefore it is crucial that your elbows are properly positioned in order to get the most out of the exercise.

FLAPPY WRISTS

While doing the plate chest press, it is crucial that you pick the right number of plates. Anything too heavy will make your wrists buckle

This causes flappy wrists which waters down the effectiveness of the exercise.

LACK OF TENSION

It is crucial that you engage your core while doing the plate chest press. This is to ensure that the right muscles are engaged and you avoid back injuries.

CONCLUSION

The plate chest press is therefore an extremely efficient way to build your chest and shoulders with minimal equipment and risk of injury.

It is however important to note that you should carry weights that you can handle and always observe form.

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