How To Do Valley Press Exercise Properly

Don’t be fooled. Despite its simple and admittedly weird appearance, the valley press exercise is a small move that brings about big gains.

This exercise resembles a pressing movement but as you go on to perform it, you will realise that you need to recruit more muscles other than the pecs as in most presses.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the above connection, and discuss the valley press exercise- a bodybuilding exercise that you can include into your strength training in order to increase chest hypertrophy.

HOW TO DO VALLEY PRESS EXERCISE PROPERLY

Below is a simple guide on how to perform the valley press exercise with the right form for maximum effectiveness.

Also, you will need two dumbbells as your working weight.

STEP 1: PINCH THE DUMBBELLS

Take two dumbbells and pinch them together tightly, with your palms facing upwards. Stand tall and keep your shoulder blades squeezed back.

Hold the dumbbells right against your chest and remember to press them together as hard as you can.

STEP 2: PRESS OUTWARDS AND INWARDS

While keeping the dumbbells pressed firmly together, extend your arms out and slightly upwards slowly until both your elbows are completely locked out.

At this point, you should feel your chest contracting so hard that it is borderline painful. This is one rep. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

VALLEY PRESS EXERCISE TIPS TO CONSIDER

Slow and steady presses win in this exercise. Take your time when pressing the weights inwards and outwards.

By the time you are done with the first step, which is the set- up, you should already feel your chest muscles working/ burning.

Ensure that your arm movements are horizontal instead of vertical.

If you want to develop a new method, you can easily merge the valley press exercise with a normal chest workout.

Always do some warm ups before beginning the valley press exercise.

VALLEY PRESS EXERCISE COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID

Be sure you avoid these mistakes in order to get the most out of this exercise and prevent strain or injury.

LOSING YOUR NATURAL BACK ARCH

Always maintain the natural arch in your lower back and don’t force it into the surface as this could lead to unnecessary stress.

SPACE BETWEEN THE DUMBBELLS

Don’t leave any space between the dumbbells. The aim here is to have them as close and tight as possible. Leaving a space between them will minimize the engagement of the target muscles.

PRESSING TOO FAST

Pressing too fast or with an explosive force can injure your elbows. Always aim to move the weights in a controlled, smooth, not-too-fast press.

NOT USING A SPOTTER

When it comes to chest presses, especially if you are more advanced and are using heavier weights it is recommended that one uses a second party to watch them.

This person is called a spotter. Failure to do so can easily lead to the wrong form.

Many people at the gym are always willing to be a potter if asked to.

Alternatively, if you are alone, you can perform this exercise in front of a mirror and become your own spotter.

EGO LIFTING

This has always been a major spoiler in any weight concerned exercise. You are always advised to start light and gradually advance to heavier weights.

Ego lifting will lead to unnecessary stress on the muscles involved in this exercise.

VALLEY PRESS EXERCISE MUSCLES WORKED

Below are the muscles worked by this incredible exercise.

PECTORALIS MAJOR

This is the most superficial muscle found in the pectoral region. It is large in size and fan shaped and composed of a sternal head and a clavicular head.

Its main function is to adduct and medially rotate the upper limb and also draws the scapula anteroinferior.

Additionally, the clavicular head also works alone to flex the upper limb.

PECTORALIS MINOR

This muscle lies underneath the pectoralis major and both of them form part of the anterior wall of the axilla region.

It serves to stabilise the scapula by drawing it anteroinferior against the thoracic walls.

SERRATUS ANTERIOR

This muscle is located laterally in the wall of the chest and forms the medial border of the axilla region.

It functions to rotate the scapula, allowing for the arm to be raised over 90 degrees. It also serves to hold the scapula against the ribcage.

VALLEY PRESS EXERCISE BENEFITS

Below are the benefits the valley press exercise gives to those who constantly include it to their workout routine.

ISOMETRIC TENSION

While performing this exercise, the tension will stay on your muscles throughout the entire session in a special way that the pecs usually don’t experience.

The increased flow of blood and stimulation may eventually lead to greater hypertrophy in the long run.

IMPROVED MIND-MUSCLE CONNECTION

Similarly, the constant tension will also keep you connected to the smaller to the smaller elements that make up your muscle fibre across the chest in a very unique way.

You will start feeling parts of your chest that you previously didn’t know existed.

The mind-muscle connection is essential in developing strength and enabling a lifter to utilise the very last ounce of their lifting potential.

Due to this, the valley press exercise may eventually benefit your general pressing abilities.

GREATER PUMP

Isometric movements such as the valley press exercise can flood your muscles with blood, which will direct vital nutrients to your muscle tissue and increase energy, contractile strength and aid in recovery.

VALLEY PRESS EXERCISE ALTERNATIVES

SPOTO PRESS

This alternative is a combination of the floor and board presses. This exercise can strengthen the triceps, assist to address sticking point weakness and increase a lifter’s shoulder stability.

DUMBBELL FLOOR PRESS

This alternative is a challenging press variation that can be used to address muscle imbalance and increase stabilisation demands.

TAKE AWAY

This exercise can be very tricky to master. If you feel any pain while doing it, stop and try the alternatives highlighted above.