Seated Machine Chest Press: How To Do and Muscles Worked

The seated machine chest press is a popular upper body strength training exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

It offers many unique advantages, like lowers the chance of injury compared to those using free weights. Additionally, the machine provides a controlled range of motion and allows for better isolation of the chest muscles.

It also offers flexibility through adjustments to the seat position, grip width, and weight selection.

You can do try variations of the machine chest press to target different parts of the chest muscles.

  • The seated machine press effectively trains the complete chest.
  • Incline chest press: This variation targets the upper chest muscles.
  • Decline chest press: This variation targets the lower chest muscles.
  • Neutral grip chest press: helps reduce shoulder stress.
  • Wide grip chest press: targets the outer chest muscles.

Machine Chest Press Muscles Worked

  • The Machine chest press primarily targets the chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor).
  • The secondary muscles that work during this are the tricep brachii and anterior deltoid.
  • Several stabilizing muscles, such as the serratus anterior, rotator cuff, core, and trapezius, also work during it.
Machine Chest Press Muscles Worked

How To Do Seated Machine Chest Press

  1. Position the handles of the machine so they line up with your mid to upper chest.
  2. Sit upright with your chest out, shoulders retracted (pulled back), and core engaged.
  3. Grasp the handles with an overhand grip. Make sure your wrists stay straight and don’t bend or twist.
  4. Your feet should be flat on the floor, and your back should be straight against the padded backrest.
  5. Press the handles straight out in front of you until your arms are fully extended but not locked.
  6. At the end of the exercise, make sure to squeeze your chest muscles.
  7. Then slowly bring your hands back toward your chest without letting the weights touch the stack.
Seated Machine Chest Press

Tips and Form

  • Keep your back against the backrest and avoid arching your lower back.
  • Maintain a slight bend in your elbows, don’t lock them out at full extension
  • Retract your shoulders back and down. Don’t round or hunch.
  • Exhale during the pushing (concentric) phase and inhale during the return (eccentric) phase. Avoid holding your breath.
  • Do 8–12 repetitions per set to build muscle mass and 4–6 reps per set to build strength.
  • Complete 2-4 sets with a 60-90 seconds rest between sets.
  • To target different areas of the chest, you can adjust the grip width (wider for outer chest, narrower for inner chest) or the angle of the machine (incline for upper chest, decline for lower chest)


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