The Piston Press

Chest is probably one of the worst contenders for being repetitive, and you often see people performing their whole workout in the confines of a smith machine or bench press.

Standard dumbbell press has notable advantages over a smith machine in terms of stability control and ensuring you can redress imbalances you have in your respective left and right hand sides. The piston press is perhaps the most challenging variation and instantly highlights any discrepancies in balance and strength you may have.

Ensure you start this exercise with a notably lighter weight than you usually use, if you don’t have a firm stable position on the bench you will find yourself rolling off one side!

How to

  • Take a set of dumbbells (lighter than usual- for the first set at least) and a free bench (flat)
  • As you would with standard dumbbell press elevate both dumbbells up to their starting position
  • Begin to lower only ONE of the dumbbells whilst keeping your other arm at the starting point
  • Upon performing one rep with your single arm, then lower the other arm
  • Once you have completed both arms for the specified number of reps, rest before completing the subsequent sets
  • Really aim to keep the wrist strong on both hands, and fully control the eccentric (lowering phase).
  • Be sure to keep the non working arm in a fixed position and don’t simply let it drift – before you know it you will be completely off balance – not a good look!

Piston press 1Piston press 2

Piston press 3Piston press 4