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Strength Training for Better Posture: Chest Press

functional training posture therapy resistance training strength strength training Jan 17, 2013
Chest Press


Starting Position

  • Lie down on a bench with your knees bent and feet flat on the bench.

  • Distance between your heels and butt is ~ 6".

  • Arms extended directly above the chest.

  • Weights are facing each other with the palms down.

  • Lower back has a natural curve, relax your abdominals and do not flatten your back to the bench.

  • 3-5 degrees of bend in the elbow to provide shock absorption.

  • Hands are slightly inside the elbows, 80 degree bend at the elbow to maximally engage the triceps.


  • With the weights extended above the chest retract the shoulder blades down and together. This will move the weights apart 6"-1'.

  • Slowly lower the weights down until the elbows are even with the body, a 90 degree angle with the shoulder, wrist and elbow. Any lower will put excessive stress on the front of the shoulder joint.

  • The upper arm is held slightly below shoulder height, at 65-80 degrees of abduction.

  • Hold the position on the bottom for 1-2 seconds before pushing the weights straight up.

Resistance Machine Notes

I purposely did not show this exercise on a resistance machine. Being of smaller stature I was not able to set the machine to fit my body at the correct angles to execute this exercise in good posture. If you do use a resistance machine for the chest press please follow these set-up guidelines and perform the exercise as described above.

  • Make sure your upper arm is slightly below your shoulders. You may need to adjust the seat height to attain the correct angle.

  • The angle between the elbow joint and the hand should be 80 degrees. Most machines have multiple grips that can be used.

  • Sit with the lower body at a 90 degree angle from the ankle through the knee to the hip.

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