The Chest Press exercise is a pushing movement designed to strengthen your chest muscles (obviously :)), your shoulders, and the back of the upper arms, called triceps. There are many variations dependent on the tool you use such as barbells or dumbbells and the angle of bench you lie on: flat, incline, decline, stability ball, etc. Each provide a little different ‘tweak’ to the exercise, challenging muscles in new ways.
One common mistake we see on the Chest Press exercise is the low back staying completely flat to the bench. When this happens, the arms flare out to about 90 degrees in relationship to the bench, causing the shoulder joint to become less mobile and at a greater risk for impingement. Not good!
A quick fix is to arch the lower back ever-so-slightly, pushing the chest up a bit, keeping the angle of the arms at about 70 degrees instead. To aid in this low back arch and chest rise, we cue our members to “screw the shoulder blades together and into the back pockets.” You should be able to have ‘daylight’ between your low back and bench. This allows room for that shoulder joint to roll back, lowering risk of impingement and creating a free path to press.
From this position, drive your feet into the ground (use a box under your feet if you’re too short to have them stay flat on the ground) and push the bar or dumbbell up until elbows are gently locked. Lower with control as you bring the weight back over your chest.
We hope this tip of arching your low back is helpful in providing safe, more effective chest pressing!
Valeo / Valor
Twelve weeks ago, we created a training plan to hopes to form an Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) team. We were pretty geeked when 11 Valeoians took us up on the challenge and used this summer toget outside their comfort zonesand prepare for the Spartan OCR Race. What craziness and fun we had implementing the training and meeting every-other week all around town at different outdoor venues.
Race day was this past Sunday and oh my, was it amazing! 4.9 miles of wall climbs, twisting monkey bars, swimming under walls in mud water, pulling weighted sleds, carrying 45-60 lb sand bags up seemingly never-ending NASCAR stadium stairs, climbing ropes, pulling hoists, and doing burpees. Oh, the burpees!
The best part? We did it as Team Valeo / Valor and laughed, shouted, danced (really, lol!) and cheered our guts out the entire way. No man left behind. We pushed each other over walls, physically and mentally, we jumped in when someone needed assistance, and we all had moments of disappointment and moments of triumph.
As Coaches, to see someone SHINE and grow in confidence and courage (valor) as they prove to themselves they can do hard things – is there anything better? This team rocked it and we are so proud. Enjoy some pics from our epic day. Aroo!!
Valeo / Charity
We are honored to be hosting a donation-based workout on Saturday, October 7th to help raise funds to build Carole’s Hope Home, a safe house for trafficked women and children. Members and non-members welcome…come experience a taste of our community and culture. We’d love to see you there!! Read more about this event and Register HERE.