This complete guide will teach you everything you need to know about the Svend Press.
What is the Svend Press?
The exercise is a lesser used chest pressing movement that results in impressive gains.
It uses lighter weights to create an incredible mind muscle connection and pump, and really helps to isolate and improve the pecs.
It involves holding two plates together whilst moving them through the full range of motion. Deceptively difficult, this action renders the lifter incapable of using the full power of the chest, arms and upper body to bear.
As a result, you stimulate muscle growth through this challenging and unique stimulus.
Why is it Called the Svend Press?
The exercise is named after the 2001 World’s Strongest Man winner Svend Karlsen.
He invented a movement that was so effective, it could work wonders with only 20lb and below.
Benefits of the Svend Press
There are many benefits from adding this unique exercise into your training.
This exercise completely isolates the pecs and the movement is almost impossible to cheat and recruit other muscles to help shift the weight.
This is great news for muscle gains because you will always be targeting the chest.
The triceps can often be a limited factor when it comes to training the chest as they can fatigue much quicker during bench press variations with both the barbell and dumbbell.
The movement gets around this problem because the weights used are comparatively not heavy, yet you will be surprised by how quickly the movement still brings the chest to total fatigue.
A Great Finisher
If you want to finish your chest or upper body session in style then consider this exercise. It will push your muscle to fatigue and maximise the gains from your workout.
Friendly on the Joints
Proper mobility work and prehab work for the rotator cuff muscles will generally keep your shoulders in good working order, but injuries can still occur when high volume, heavy pressing movements occur.
The S Press is an effective way to minimize the stress on the shoulder joints whilst maximizing stimulus for the chest.
What Muscles Does the Svend Press Work?
This pressing exercise mainly targets the pectoral muscles.
These achieve isometric tension at the top of the lift and must work hard throughout the entire movement.
The range of motion is less than that of a bench press but the inner pecs are especially challenged by this effective exercise.
How to Do the Svend Press
You will need two 10lb or 5lb plates.
- Place the plates together and pinch them in place tightly with your hands
- Stand with a straight back and a firm base
- Squeeze your shoulder blades back and hold the plates against your chest
- Inhale and brace your core, glutes, chest and hands
- Slowly extend your hands out in front of you. Press upwards and inwards at the same time
- Continue until your elbows are fully locked out. You will feel a big contraction in your chest at this point
- Pause then return to the starting position
- Repeat for the desired number of reps
Keep the plates pressed together as tightly as possible at all times.
You should be able to feel your chest muscles working right from the beginning of the movement in the set-up position.
Move with precision and control at all times. Don’t rush the movement.
Concentrate on the mind muscle connection. Try to feel your chest working.
How to Build Muscle
Go for 3 – 5 sets of 8 – 12 reps. Rest for 30 – 45 seconds but no longer between sets.
Svend Press Variations
If you want to target your pecs in a very similar way then try these variations.
- Dumbbell Hex Press
- Cable Svend Press
- Floor Press Svend Press
Svend Press Alternatives
These alternatives can be used to stimulate chest hypertrophy.
- Dumbbell Floor Press
- Spoto Press
- Floor Press with Chains/Bands
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- Benefits-of-Chest-Flyes-and-Rich-Froning: Photo Courtesy of CrossFit Inc