Smith Machine Hex Press
The Smith Machine Hex Press is a strength training exercise that targets the muscles of the chest and triceps. The exercise offers a unique movement pattern that stimulates muscle fibers differently compared to traditional barbell or dumbbell presses. By emphasizing the movement towards the midline of the chest, it contributes to a well-rounded chest development and enhances overall upper body strength. This variation can help break plateaus and lead to new muscle growth.
How to do:
1. Setup and Grip:
- Position yourself on the bench beneath the Smith Machine bar.
- Use a V grip attachment, grasping the handles with your palms facing each other and knuckles aligned.
- Ensure your wrists are in a neutral position, which helps reduce strain and enhances pressing power.
2. Bar Unlock and Starting Position:
- Push the bar upward to unlock it from its resting position.
- Hold the bar with your arms extended, directly above your chest.
3. Controlled Descent:
- Begin the movement by slowly lowering the bar towards your chest.
- Focus on maintaining a controlled pace, allowing the V grip handles to approach your chest.
4. Explosive Concentric Phase:
- Once the V grip lightly touches your chest, explosively press the bar upward using your chest muscles.
- Imagine pushing the floor away from you, engaging your chest for maximum force.
5. Squeeze and Hold:
- At the top of the movement, when your arms are fully extended, pause and squeeze your chest muscles for one second.
- This contraction intensifies the engagement and promotes muscle activation.
6. Eccentric Movement:
- Slowly lower the bar again, focusing on the eccentric (negative) phase of the lift.
- Control the descent and maintain tension in your chest muscles throughout.
7. Repetitions and Sets:
- Perform the desired number of repetitions while maintaining proper form and control.
Tips for Success:
- Maintain a controlled pace during both the eccentric and concentric phases of the movement to maximize muscle engagement.
- Focus on your breathing pattern, inhaling during the eccentric (lowering) phase and exhaling during the concentric (pressing) phase.
- Keep your shoulder blades retracted and depressed throughout the exercise to ensure optimal chest activation.
Smith Machine Hex Press – Benefits
Targeted Inner Chest Development:
The Smith Machine Hex Press is particularly effective at targeting the inner portion of the pectoral muscles. The movement pattern encourages the arms to move towards the midline of the chest, leading to enhanced activation of the inner chest fibers. This can help create a more sculpted and defined chest appearance.
The guided movement of the Smith machine allows you to isolate the triceps during the pressing motion. As you push the barbell away from your body, your triceps play a significant role in extending your elbows and completing the press. This activation at the end range of motion contributes to improved triceps strength and definition.