Chest, Exercise Guide

How To Do The Plate Press Out Properly

The plate press out is one of the more unconventional exercises when it comes to working out the chest and shoulder.

Using just minimal equipment, the plate press out isolates the chest and shoulder enabling you to get a detailed workout.

The plate press out movements involve the use of a single piece of weighted equipment. It is however crucial that you

To do the exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees and safely pick up your weights of choice from the ground with both hands.
  • Return to a standing position and hold the plate vertically at chest level with your elbows bent. Your hands should be positioned at about a 45 degree angle in either direction
  • Press your hands into the plate and push it straight out until your arms are fully extended. Use your core to exert this force
  • Slowly bring the weight back to your chest. This is one rep.
  • Complete 2–3 sets of 8–12 reps. If used as a finisher exercise, complete as many reps as possible.


Despite the fact that the plate press out isolates the primary target muscles, it doesn’t just engage these areas alone.

Some of the areas that are generally engaged by the exercise include:


The chest is one of the primary target areas when doing the plate press out.

Due to the pressing nature of the exercise’s movements the chest is usually isolated especially when pulling the weights back into your body.

This leads to the toning of the pectoral muscles and an increase in their strength and power.


The shoulders are another primary target while doing the plate press out. They play a balancing and support role while doing the necessary movements.

For instance, by holding the weight plate out, the shoulders have to support a huge chunk of the weight.

This is because it has been isolated and pretty much all the strain is being directed towards it at that moment.


The traps refer to the trapezius muscle which is located on the upper section of the back. It also happens to be the largest back muscle in your body.

The traps work together with the shoulders to facilitate the shoulders roles due to their proximity to each other

Therefore, whenever the shoulder is engaged so is the trapezius muscle. A strong trapezius muscle is extremely important as it caters to a variety of things including your posture.


When you straighten your arm out, the triceps are automatically engaged. This is because the triceps primary role is to facilitate the extension of the arm at the shoulder joint.

It is therefore a gargantuan cog in every movement necessary to do the plate press out. The triceps are also used to hold the humerus in position.


The forearm is used to perform a number of roles ranging from grip to flexing. The key move while doing the plate press out is the flexing of your arms in and out.

This is facilitated by the forearms which regulate your elbows movements.

The forearm also affects your grip. This is because it works with the wrist which means the strength of your grip is directly related to the strength of your forearm.

A strong forearm allows you to do a number of things better including doing higher impact exercises better.


Some of the benefits that come with doing the plate press out include:


The plate press out is an extremely simple workout that requires very minimal equipment i.e., weight plate.

However, even if you don’t have a weight plate on hand, you can use a plethora of alternatives.

This ranges from a heavy book to anything with significant weight that you can get your hands on.

As such, it can be done by anyone anywhere.


Chest and shoulder workouts are notorious for their high impact nature. This can easily lead to injuries.

However. the low impact nature of the plate press out ensures that the strain you put your body under is manageable.

In the long run, this protects you from any sort of workout related injuries.


The plate press out utilises movements that contract your muscles throughout entire movements.

This is particularly useful because it ensures that the target muscles are engaged for a lengthened period of time.

This ensures that the results achieved are extremely efficient.


The plate press out is based on movements that involve pushing your arms out away from the body. Below are some exercises that are built on similar principles:


The push-up is arguably the most practised exercise. To do it:

  • Position hands palms-down on the floor, approximately shoulder width apart.
  • Elevate yourself into a plank position
  • Push away from your body, raising yourself off the ground as a result.
  • Flex your elbow to lower you back to starting position. Repeat
  • At this point, your weight should be supported by your hands and the balls of your feet.
  • You should also ensure that both your arms and your chest are slightly wider than shoulder width. This ensures you work both the chest and arm.


The bench press is one of the most globally recognized exercises. To do the exercise:

  • Lay faceup on a horizontal bench, with your butt on the bench and feet flat on the ground.
  • Grasp the barbell with your fingers facing your body and space your hands wider than shoulder width
  • Lift up the bar and lower it to the centre of your chest, in a controlled movement
  • Once the bar touches your chest, press the weight back up. Repeat


To do the floor press:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie down with your back on the floor and dumbbells straight out above your chest. Keep feet flat on the floor with knees bent.
  • Begin exercise by lowering dumbbells down to the outside of your chest.
  • Lower until your upper arms briefly touch the ground, pause, then push back up to starting position.
  • Repeat


When doing the plate press out there are certain common mistakes that a lot of people. Some of the mistakes include:


As simplistic as it may sound, engaging your core should be one of your major areas of focus while doing the plate press out.

This is because failure to do so extremely waters down the effectiveness of your actions. It also exposes you to potential back injury.


The principal movements of the exercise don’t require much weight. As such, using extremely heavy weights is most likely to come as an impediment more than anything else.


Because of the simplicity of the exercise it is understandable to want to do more.This is what creates that desire to want to stack another plate or add more weights

However, the basics should be more than enough to effect change.


The plate press out is a very practical exercise that can be done by anyone anywhere.

The only thing to keep in mind is to accept it for what it is and not try and over complicate matters.

Achieving this state of mind guarantees you extreme efficiency from doing this workout.

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