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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Do the Hex-Press for Subsequent-Stage Chest Features

When you practice your chest severely, you’ve most likely carried out loads of barbell bench urgent. And dumbbell urgent. Oh, and you may’t neglect the incline press for these higher pecs, in fact. After which there’s the decline press for the decrease chest. In actual fact, you’ve most likely carried out extra chest urgent than you’d care to confess. Perhaps it’s time to place a brand new spin on issues. 

The finest chest train ought to take your pecs by way of their full contractile vary of movement whereas additionally partaking your shoulders and triceps. Most presses accomplish this simply tremendous, however you may’t all the time really feel your chest working within the course of.

Man grabs dumbbell off of rack for hex press
Credit score: tool2530 / Shutterstock

The hex press will get you there. This motion incorporates some isometric coaching and actually elevates your urgent recreation by not solely urgent together with your chest however squeezing the muscle collectively within the course of. The result’s a world-class pump and a few upper-body positive aspects in addition. Right here’s tips on how to do it. 

The right way to Do the Hex Press

When you usually carry out dumbbell chest presses in your exercise, you’ve every part it is advisable grasp the hex press. Nevertheless, do take word that the kind of dumbbells you utilize might affect your efficiency.

Cylindrical dumbbells may make the train tougher to carry out. In case you have hexagonal dumbbells — therefore, hex press — you’re good to go.

Step 1 — Seize Some Dumbbells

Hex Press Step 1
Credit score: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

Seize a moderate-to-heavy pair of dumbbells and sit on the top of a weight bench. In a single swift however managed movement, kick off the ground together with your ft and rock backward. Straighten your arms as you lie down on the bench and firmly plant your ft.

Coach’s Tip: “Kicking” your self into place for a dumbbell press takes a little bit of finesse to be taught. Ensure you brace your core. 

Step 2 — Maintain the Weights Collectively

A person holding hex dumbbells together at arms length while lying on the bench.
Credit score: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

Brace your core and maintain the dumbbells collectively at arm’s size above your shoulders. That is an important bit; your palms ought to face each other and the perimeters of every dumbbell ought to make direct contact with each other.

Coach’s Tip: Actively push the dumbbells collectively as when you had been making an attempt to fuse them into one weight. 

Step 3 — Decrease and Press

A person doing the hex press, with the hex dumbbells lowered together and touching the chest.
Credit score: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

With the perimeters of the dumbbells firmly pressed collectively, decrease the weights down towards your stomach. As soon as the weights make contact together with your chest, press them again to the beginning place. Hold them involved with each other your entire time.

Coach’s Tip: Hold your arms tucked tightly to your sides as you decrease the weights through the hex press. 

Hex Press Units and Reps

In terms of programming, the hex press matches properly into any set-rep scheme you’d usually use on your common dumbbell presses. When you want a refresher, listed below are a few other ways you may go about implementing hex press units and reps:

Widespread Hex Press Errors

It is probably not as sophisticated as an train like the snatch — or perhaps a commonplace barbell bench press — however there’s nonetheless loads that may go incorrect through the hex press. Hold these technical parts in thoughts earlier than you begin banging out units of hex presses. 

Not Sustaining Contact

The defining characteristic of the hex press is that the dumbbells stay firmly pressed collectively throughout the set. When you can’t preserve this contact, you’re basically performing a easy neutral-grip dumbbell press. So, it doesn’t matter what, be sure that once you carry out the hex press, the weights you’re holding stay firmly involved with one another. 

Not Touching Your Chest

Take away the distinctive setup and execution and also you’re left with a chest press like some other, which suggests you must most likely be utilizing a full vary of movement. Whereas the precise level of contact for the hex press will differ from different urgent motions, barring an damage or bodily limitation, you must make an effort to the touch the weights to your chest on each rep

Elbows Flaring

To carry the dumbbells collectively through the hex press necessitates a pleasant tucked arm place. You want impartial wrists to correctly carry out the hex press, which suggests externally rotating your shoulder and dropping the weights low in your chest. 

In case your elbows are flaring out, there’s a superb likelihood that you just aren’t protecting the perimeters of the dumbbells involved with one another, thus defeating the aim of the motion.

Hex Press Variations

There are way more customizable train choices on the market than the hex press. That stated, you may nonetheless put a twist or two on the motion to introduce some selection. Check out these variations when you’re curious:

Incline Hex Press

The incline hex press is a stable choice if you wish to emphasize your higher chest. Place an adjustable bench at a low incline (suppose anyplace from 15 to 30 levels) and carry out the motion as you usually would.

The inclined floor gives extra vary of movement at your shoulder, which ought to emphasize your higher pecs. Observe, although, that working from an incline will possible cut back the quantity of weight you need to use through the hex press. 

Cable Hex Press

Unsurprisingly, a cable station will improve your expertise with the hex press. Fixed muscular pressure and an adjustable station make for a stable recipe for muscle progress.

Observe, although, that this train might really feel awkward if the 2 cable attachments are too far aside. The additional aside every fixture is, the additional you’ll need to stroll out with the cables in-hand. Nonetheless, it’s a fantastic choice for protecting fixed pressure in your pecs. 

Hex Press Options

When you can’t get the hex press down pat however nonetheless benefit from the train on paper, you’re in luck. These hex press alternate options present comparable advantages to the motion in query however are totally different sufficient to be stimulating and enjoyable on their very own advantage. 

Diamond Push-Up

Body weight workout routines aren’t simply for newcomers. With the correct modifications, even the common-or-garden push-up can grow to be fairly difficult. To imitate the calls for of the hex press with simply your personal physique weight, strive the diamond push-up as a substitute.

This motion locations your arms in an identical place as you’d discover through the hex press. You may even slap a weight plate in your again for some additional resistance if obligatory, however you may discover that the diamond push-up is loads difficult by itself.

Cable Chest Press

Cables are a bodybuilder’s finest good friend, and for good purpose. They supply constant mechanical pressure to the muscle or muscular tissues you’re making an attempt to work and include practically infinite customization choices.

An excellent cable chest press will stimulate the 2 major capabilities of the pecs: Pushing your arm ahead in house and drawing your arm inward towards your midline. It could be tough to arrange in a busy fitness center, however the cable chest press is a unbelievable substitute for the hex press if you may make it work. 

Shut-Grip Bench Press

To ante up on the mechanical pressure and strength-building potential, swap out the hex press and work with the barbell as a substitute. The close-grip bench press will torch your chest, certain, however it additionally works your triceps and anterior deltoids.

Extra particularly, your bar path through the close-grip bench press ought to be practically an identical to the way you’d transfer your dumbbells through the hex press. You must subsequently expertise some respectable carryover between the 2 workout routines. 

Muscle groups Labored by the Hex Press

Understanding how your physique interacts with the workout routines you carry out can elevate your outcomes. You may optimize your method and apply extra effort on a set-by-set foundation if you realize the “how” and the “why” behind the actions in your exercise. Right here’s how your physique works through the hex press.


The pectoralis main attaches out of your sternum to your higher arm bone and has two distinct heads; sternocostal and clavicular. Your pecs primarily draw your arm laterally towards your midline. This movement comes into play throughout each presses and flye workout routines. You’ll discover your chest doing a lot of the work through the backside half of the hex press. 

Higher Pecs

The pec minor is a deep tissue that sits below your pecs correct and truly attaches to your shoulder blade. That is the muscle that most individuals attempt to coach after they need to stimulate their “higher chests.”

Man flexes his chest
Credit score: Mike Orlov / Shutterstock

On account of its anatomical insertion, you may have interaction your pec minor by selecting chest workout routines that contain extra shoulder flexion. The hex press is an outstanding choice right here, particularly when you carry out it on an inclined floor. 


Your triceps sit on the again of your higher arm, however they really connect all the best way out of your shoulder blade down onto your forearm. Throughout the hex press, your triceps stabilize your elbow joint as you decrease the weights. They’re the first extensor in play through the high half of the repetition as you come the dumbbells to the beginning place. 


Any chest press train you carry out will contain the musculature in your shoulders to some extent. Your anterior deltoids, that are one in all three sections of the deltoid musculature, help your pecs all through your entire vary of movement of the hex press. Don’t count on a lot muscular engagement within the lateral or rear deltoids throughout horizontal presses, although. 

Advantages of the Hex Press

It received’t remedy all of your chest achieve woes in a single fell swoop, however the hex press isn’t with out its personal perk bundle. In actual fact, the advantages obtainable to you go means past novelty. Right here’s what you stand to realize from stepping into the hex press. 

Simple to Carry out

Logistics are front-of-mind in terms of designing a superb exercise program. You may have essentially the most well-crafted, meticulously designed routine on the earth, however when you can’t get into the fitness center and full it within the first place, you’re out of luck.

The hex press positive aspects factors for comfort. All you want is an obtainable bench and a pair of dumbbells — each of which you must be capable of get ahold of, even in a busy fitness center. The method can be comparatively simple and simple to be taught. One follow session ought to have you ever up and working. 

Introduces Variation

Selection is the spice of life. Within the weight room, switching issues up might help you keep mentally engaged together with your exercises, sweetening the outcomes you finally earn. The hex press is distinct sufficient from different chest presses to be productive, however comparable sufficient that you just received’t really feel such as you’re straying into uncharted territory. 

A Nice Thoughts-Muscle Connection

When you wrestle to essentially really feel your pecs engaged on Worldwide Chest Day, it is advisable know just a few issues. First, the mind-muscle connection is an actual phenomenon and does affect your positive aspects on some stage. Nevertheless, analysis isn’t conclusive about whether or not it really impacts muscle progress long-term. (1)

That stated, when you can really feel the goal muscle working, you’ll most likely be extra motivated to coach. The setup of the hex press actually encourages actively contracting your pecs from begin to end by forcing you to press the weights towards each other. 

Who Ought to Do the Hex Press

If you wish to construct muscle, you must do the hex press. When you’re bored of your commonplace dumbbell urgent, you may give the hex press a go. For these and plenty of extra causes, you’re most likely in the correct place. 

If You Solely Have Mild Weights

You don’t want entry to ultra-heavy weights to construct and practice your chest — although they definitely assist. Making essentially the most out of a lightweight exercise is all about choosing workout routines that compromise your leverage.

The setup and execution of the hex press is acceptable right here; you might not be capable of press as a lot as you may on a typical dumbbell press, however it’ll nonetheless be fairly difficult on your pecs. Go for the hex press and bang out some high-rep units when you don’t have heavier dumbbells to work with. 

Bodybuilders or These With Physique Targets

If you wish to placed on muscle, you must make the most of all kinds of actions. The usual bench press is all properly and good, however you must think about swapping within the hex press to diversify your chest coaching.

Along with the novelty, the hex press may will let you proceed coaching your higher physique with out accumulating as a lot put on and tear in your shoulder, elbow, or wrist joints, since you may’t raise as closely to start with. 

A Contemporary Press

The hex press flies below the radar of chest workout routines. When you’ve by no means plugged it into your exercises earlier than, you’re positively lacking out. Holding two dumbbells towards one another whilst you press not solely will increase the stability calls for of the motion, however considerably will increase the problem in your pecs. Attempt it for your self and also you’ll see the juice is well worth the squeeze. 


Unsure concerning the hex press? No biggie. Take a look at these widespread inquiries to put your fears to relaxation. 

Why is it referred to as a hex press?

The train’s identify comes from the kind of tools you need to use. In case you have hexagonal dumbbells, you’re in enterprise for the hex press, because the edges of the weights collapse flatly towards one another.

Cylindrical dumbbells work simply tremendous, although they’re tougher to regulate since they’re liable to roll previous one another as you press.

Do I want hexagonal dumbbells to do the hex press? 

No! So long as you may comfortably push a pair of dumbbells into one another, you’re good to go along with the hex press. Hexagonally-shaped dumbbells are simply the simplest and most handy choice.


  1. Schoenfeld, B. J., Vigotsky, A., Contreras, B., Golden, S., Alto, A., Larson, R., Winkelman, N., & Paoli, A. (2018). Differential results of attentional focus methods throughout long-term resistance coaching. European journal of sport science, 18(5), 705–712.

Featured Picture: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

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