How to Use the Seated Chest Press Machine

The seated chest press machine, is comfortable for your body while allowing you to lift heavier weight with more control. In this exercise, the movement comes from the shoulders and elbows.

The Setup
Start by adjusting the seat height. When seated and grasping the handles, your hands should be in line with your chest—not above or below it. Lift or lower the seat to align your hands with your chest. Your feet should be able to rest on the floor.

The Weight
Form is important, so start with a lower weight and adjust it later. The weight should be heavy enough to fatigue your muscles within 8-15 repetitions, yet not too heavy that you can't complete a full range of motion (lowering back down to chest level and pushing until your arms are fully extended but not locked).

The Position
Have a seat and use the seat back to support you, keeping your abs in tight. Grasp the handles with palms facing down or outward (depending on the machine design). Your feet should start on the foot pedal (if present) to help you initially lift the weight stack. After it's lifted, place your feet flat on the floor.

The Movement
Exhale and push the handles forward until your arms are extended but your elbows do not lock. Inhale and slowly return your arms back to chest level—but not completely (the weight stack should not slam, but should come close to touching). Aim for 8-12 repetitions and 1-3 sets.

Body Benefit
Strong chest muscles
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Member Comments

thanks Report
Great information Report
Thanks Report
Thank you for sharing. Report
I don't use them. I never go to a gym... Report
How long should we rest between sets? Report
thanks Report
Thanks Report
I'm looking forward to trying this at the gym. Report
Good article. Report
This machine is on my ‘upper body list’ usually after a back exercise and before tricep press if they are available. 12x 3 sets Report
Thanks for the great information! :) Report


About The Author

Nicole Nichols
Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.