French Press Workout: How To, Permutations, & Choices



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The triceps make up two-thirds of the higher arm, however ceaselessly don’t obtain two-thirds of the affection in terms of direct arm paintings – that normally is going to the biceps and the entire curling diversifications. However this is an issue for a distinct day. In truth, the triceps do get various love all over giant urgent workouts, however it nonetheless will pay to isolate the triceps for higher dimension, definition, and development in urgent method and lockout energy. One in point of fact nice workout to pump up the ones triceps, and is ceaselessly have shyed away from through novices, is the French Press, which goes to be the focal point of this put up.

Right here we will be able to cross into:

  • What the French Press is
  • Find out how to do it accurately
  • Not unusual errors
  • Muscular tissues labored
  • Triceps anatomy & good thing about coaching the triceps without delay
  • French Press diversifications
  • French Press possible choices

what is a french press


The French Press is solely an overhand-grip, overhead triceps extension carried out from a seated place (despite the fact that it can be carried out from a status, incline and even mendacity place).

It’s an isolation workout for the triceps. Specifically, it emphasizes the lengthy head of the triceps, because the beginning place stretches the lengthy head, giving it a better vary of contraction and stretching rigidity.

The French Press workout comes to sitting down whilst keeping an EZ bar (or barbell or dumbbells) in the back of your head together with your elbows pointed up overhead, after which extending your palms up on the elbows.

As a result of your elbows are up and palms overhead, the French press places a super stretch at the triceps earlier than the contraction. This creates a wide range of movement for the lengthy head and dependable rigidity for your triceps as a complete, which is superb for muscle hypertrophy.


The commonest apparatus for the French Press is an EZ bar, however dumbbells, a cable system, or barbell can be utilized, and we will be able to display you examples of each and every somewhat additional underneath.

To begin, we will be able to give an explanation for learn how to do the seated french press, as that is normally what is thought of as a French Press.

How To Do a Seated French Press:

how to do french press exercise

  1. To do the mendacity French press, take a seat on a flat bench and relaxation the EZ bar for your thighs and seize it with each fingers the usage of a slim, overhand grip. 
  2. Press the burden up overhead like you possibly can an overhead press. That is the beginning place.
  3. Bend on the elbows so your fingers come down simply in the back of your head, however you should definitely stay your elbows mounted, pointing up, perpendicular with the ground (take a look at to not allow them to flare too). 
  4. When your palms are totally bent together with your fingers in the back of your head, expand on the elbows whilst retaining them in a set place till the bar is again up overhead within the beginning place. Additionally, attempt to stay your backbone instantly, do not overextend your low again – to do that, stay your core tight and engaged.
  5. Repeat for desired reps. You would not have to totally lockout on the height.

The seated French press is nice because the seated place supplies balance and it is more difficult to cheat through the usage of frame English. 


    As discussed, the French press, which is solely an overhead tricep extension that brings your fingers down in the back of your head at the eccentric section, can also be carried out status, seated, at an incline, or mendacity. You’ll additionally use quite a lot of apparatus similar to an EZ bar, barbell, dumbbells, or cable system, and you’ll take a look at other grips similar to a impartial or underhand. 

    Beneath we will be able to run thru some not unusual diversifications, which might appear redundant, however each and every have their very own particular get advantages.

    1. Status French Press:

    standing french press

    The status French press in fact reasons much more of a stretch within the lengthy head of the triceps because it comes to extra shoulder flexion. With that, it’s just right in the event you in point of fact wish to emphasize the lengthy head to the fullest stage. To do it, merely bend right down to seize the EZ bar with a slim overhand grip and get up. From right here, press it up overhead into the beginning place. Permit your elbows to bend so the bar comes down in the back of your head whilst your elbows stay mounted, then expand on the elbows again into the beginning place up overhead. 

    Once more, this workout can also be carried out with quite a lot of apparatus.

    2. Incline Cable French Press:

    seated french press

    The incline cable French press is fascinating for the reason that cable system supplies flat resistance, not like unfastened weight which has a energy curve. With the cable system, the resistance would be the similar right through all the vary. As for the incline place, it necessarily is a center floor for the lengthy head emphasis between mendacity and status/seated. To try this, you’ll be able to arrange an incline bench dealing with the other manner of the cable pulley. You’ll use a instantly bar or rope attachment. Sit down again into the incline seat with just right posture and succeed in your palms in the back of you to grip the attachment with an overhand grip. The beginning place with the cable system would be the low a part of the French press (fingers simply in the back of your head), slightly than the overhead place. The remainder of the mechanics are the similar. Make sure to stay your elbows mounted, up and now not flared as you expand and flex your elbow each and every rep.

    3. Mendacity French Press:

    french press exercise

    This diversifications provides you the chance to make use of extra weight because of the greater balance of mendacity at the bench. 

    The mendacity French press is similar to the cranium crusher, however the distinction is for your arm posture and the place the burden travels. With a cranium crusher, you convey it in your brow and your elbows will probably be perpendicular with the ground, while with a mendacity french press, your elbows can also be again extra (developing that overhead extension) and the burden comes down in the back of your head. The French press targets to maximise vary of movement whilst retaining your shoulder in a extra flexed place. 

    4. Dumbbell French Press:

    dumbbell french press

    Dumbbells supply a singular variable with regards to grip. You’ll use an overhand or impartial grip when doing the French press, which you’ll’t do with a barbell or EZ bar. The impartial grip is normally more uncomplicated at the elbows. What is extra, since you’re lifting each and every dumbbell unilaterally this can be a nice way to beef up imbalances between aspects. This alteration is carried out both status, seated or mendacity down. It’s a question of private choice and what you wish to have to emphasise.

    You’ll additionally carry out the dumbbell French press one facet at a time. It will be sure to don’t seem to be simply focusing in for your dominant facet.  

    french presses 


    As nice because the French press is for construction triceps, right here are some things to seem out for when acting this workout:

    • Stay The Weight Gentle, To Start With: The French press has a wide variety of movement and can put rigidity at the elbows or shoulders, so it might probably harm your joints in the event you cross too heavy. Plus, it’s a load that is going in the back of your head pulling your palms again, which comes with some dangers. Higher to start out off mild and paintings your manner up 
    • Don’t Cross Extensive With Your Grip: There are a large number of triceps workouts that can take your elbows out large, however the French press shouldn’t be one in every of them. To get probably the most out of the French press and to stay your joint secure, use a slim grip to position most emphasis for your triceps,
    • Stay Your Elbows Tucked In: Following on from the ultimate level, it’s important to not chill out your elbows and make allowance them to flare out large. The French press is a transfer that may motive elbow ache when carried out with unsuitable shape. Higher to stay your elbows tucked in and dealing with forwards to cut back the chance of harm.
    • Keep away from Locking Out Your Elbows: It isn’t the lengthy head’s task to totally expand the elbow. That task is healthier fitted to the medial and lateral head of the triceps. Preserving a slight bend within the elbow on the finish of the French press will stay higher rigidity at the lengthy head and position much less pressure for your elbows. That stated, some folks like to fasten out. The joints are made to fasten out so it is not a subject matter, simply watch out now not overextend, as when the joints are loaded this as a result of extra of a chance.
    • Keep away from Decrease Again Extension: When keeping apart the triceps or some other muscle, it’s best to stay rigidity at the muscle and keep away from the usage of some other frame phase to boost the burden. When lifting overhead there’s a tendency to over-extend the decrease again. Keep away from this through retaining the burden mild first of all and in point of fact get the shape down. If acting this workout status, interact your glutes to stay your decrease again impartial.

    french press vs skull crushers


    • TRICEPS: This triceps extension variation emphasizes all 3 heads of the triceps muscle, however in particular the lengthy head of the triceps. Since this workout isolates the triceps, the French Press is a smart workout so as to add mass, definition, and energy to the again of your palms. In case your biceps get an excessive amount of love, the French press will give the eye the triceps deserve. The French Press is an unbelievable workout for strengthening the triceps muscle.
    • SHOULDERS, LOWER BACK, CORE, AND GLUTES: On account of the stabilization wishes for sitting upright and bringing the burden overhead, you should interact the glutes, core, decrease again, and shoulder muscle groups to accomplish the French press smartly.


    The triceps are made up of 3 muscle groups the lateral head, the lengthy head, and the medial head. All 3 of those muscle groups are connected in your elbow and its major serve as is to increase your elbow.

    Lengthy Head: The lengthy head originates at the infraglenoid tubercle of the scapula and inserts at the posterior floor of the olecranon procedure. This muscle crosses two joints the shoulder and the elbow, so the lengthy head is concerned with shoulder adduction and extension actions This implies any transfer that takes the palms overhead puts a little extra emphasis at the lengthy head of the triceps just like the French press.

    Similar: Best possible Lengthy Head Triceps Workouts

    Lateral Head: The lateral head originates above the radial groove of the humerus and inserts at the posterior floor of the olecranon procedure  Maximum triceps workouts, in particular ones that want your arm to stick in a powerful place goal the lateral head. Maximum impartial or pronated grips emphasize the triceps lateral head.

    Similar: Best possible Lateral Head Triceps Workouts

    Medial Head: The medial head originates underneath the highest of the humerus and inserts more or less at similar the purpose of the elbow because the lateral head. Numerous workouts and positions that focus on the lateral head emphasize the medial head too. 

    Similar: Best possible Medial Head Triceps Workouts

    The triceps are fascinated by maximum urgent workouts however in particular the ultimate 3rd of maximum urgent actions. For instance, the chest works laborious to press the barbell off your chest however as soon as your palms ruin 90 levels your triceps expand your forearms and elbows until lockout.

    The triceps make up round two-thirds of your higher arm mass. Despite the fact that you could pay attention lifters say a triceps workout objectives a selected head, in fact maximum extension workouts will recruit your triceps fully. Through converting your grip and arm attitude you’ll merely emphasize one head over every other, however, once more, all 3 heads are nonetheless operating to increase your elbow. 

    triceps extensions


    More potent triceps will permit you to lock out construct lockout energy which is essential for urgent heavier rather a lot with the bench press and shoulder press diversifications. Plus, in case your triceps are keeping you again then it will pay to provide them somewhat additional consideration. As a result of doing so will best lend a hand your pushing energy numbers. Because the triceps make up just about 60% of the higher arm itself, you must spend somewhat extra time on them in comparison to the biceps.

    On height of all that, some killer triceps may be very spectacular. It is the true signal of a major lifter. 

    But even so vainness causes, listed here are 4 extra essential advantages of coaching the triceps with isolation workouts such because the French press:

    1. Lockout Power: Maximum urgent diversifications want the triceps to increase and lock out the elbow As a result of there’s a level in urgent workouts the place the triceps take over to increase the elbow. And in case your triceps are the weakest hyperlink, it’s going to impede your skill to boost extra weight and get more potent.
    2. Higher Sports activities Efficiency: Sports activities that require you to hit a ball, fed off an opponent, or throw a ball wishes triceps energy and staying power as a result of each and every this kind of actions wishes elbow extension
    3. Shoulder Well being: The muscle groups connecting in your shoulder blades lend a hand with the energy, movement, balance, and total well being of your shoulders. Of the 3 triceps heads, the lengthy head is the one person who attaches to the scapula, aiding with the motion of shoulder extension and adduction. Because the French press emphasizes the lengthy head, you are going to naturally be strengthening the shoulder joint.
    4. Elbow Well being: The triceps tendons connect in and round your elbow joint. Strengthening the triceps strengthens the tendons and bones across the elbow joint additionally. This performs a very powerful phase in retaining your elbows in tip-top form.


    That you must combine up your tricep coaching and carry out different workouts to hit the muscle from other angles and emphasize other tricep heads. Listed below are 3 extra of our favourite triceps workouts…

    1. Cable/Band Overhead Triceps Extension:

    cable french press

    There are lots of diversifications of this workout to make a choice from, however the cable/band ones come up with consistent rigidity versus the usage of barbells or dumbbells. The largest trade-off is weight. Within the dumbbell/barbell diversifications, you’ll use extra weight however there’s a larger pressure at the joints. Subsequently, the cable/band overhead triceps diversifications are extra user-friendly.

    Find out how to:

    1. Set the cables or band on the best anchor level and seize the cable attachment or band with each fingers.
    2. Face clear of the anchor level and convey fingers in the back of your head ensuring you could have rigidity within the cable or band.
    3. Duck your head rather, stagger your stance and entirely expand your elbows overhead.
    4. Slowly opposite the motion till you are feeling a stretch for your triceps.
    5. Then reset and repeat.

    Similar: Best possible Cable Arm Workouts

    2. Shut-Grip Barbell Bench Press:

    french press exercise alternatives

    The hand placement with the shut grip bench press shifts the burden extra in your triceps and no more to the chest. What is extra, with the shut grip barbell bench press, you’ll in point of fact maximize the burden. That is nice for construction energy for your triceps. It is the maximum tough (compound) tricep workout you’ll do…smartly, that and weighted parallel dips (which is subsequent).

    Find out how to:

    1. Set your self up like you possibly can for the flat bench press.
    2. Set your grip inside of shoulder-width and your elbows tucked into the frame.
    3. Unrack the bar and stabilize it over your chest.
    4. Pull the elbows inwards because the bar descends to the chest.
    5. While you reached your required intensity,  press throughout the arms and raise the burden up.
    6. Reset and repeat.

    3. Parallel Bar Dips:

    triceps extensions variations

    Dips are ceaselessly known as squats for the higher frame. They in point of fact do a super task of hammering all 3 heads of the triceps, in addition to the chest and anterior deltoid. That is now not best probably the most absolute best triceps workouts, it is probably the most absolute best workouts normally. 

    Find out how to:

    1. Snatch the parallel bars with each fingers together with your torso upright however with a slight ahead lean.
    2. Have your elbows virtually prolonged to toughen this beginning place.
    3. Preserving your chest up and shoulder blades  in combination,  slowly bend on the elbows as you decrease your self down till the elbows succeed in a 90 levels attitude.
    4. Press your self upwards till you totally expand the elbows and reset and repeat.

    Similar: Dips Workout Information


    The triceps are giant compared to your biceps, however your triceps are nonetheless small muscle groups. Plus, the triceps get various paintings for your bench press, overhead press, and push days normally. Pairing your push day with one triceps workout just like the French press works smartly.

    You’ll additionally save the French press for the top of your exercise, since it is an adjunct workout, and do 3-4 units of 8-15 reps. 

    Alternate up the difference of French press each and every week too.

    General, for hypertrophy and beef up functions sticking round 10 to 16 units a week on your triceps. The French press could make up a couple of units of that overall quantity (keep in mind, giant compound lifts like bench press are incorporated in that overall too). 

    Similar: The Final Chest & Triceps Exercise

    This is an instance of pairing workouts with pulling workouts (in the event you do complete frame coaching or one thing like an higher decrease break up)…

    1A. Bench press/shoulder press variation 5-8 reps
    1B. Band pull aside  15-20 reps
    – 3-4 units resting little between workouts and a couple of mins between supersets

    2A. French press 8-15 reps
    2B. TRX rows 15-20 reps
    – 3 units resting little between workouts and 1-2 mins between supersets.

    For those who’re a complicated lifter with bodybuilding or energy objectives, you could have the benefit of somewhat extra quantity. Coaching the triceps for your push day after which later within the week a much less intense arm day for 15-18 overall units of triceps works smartly. However regulate your energy pushing numbers as a result of in the event that they cross down it should point out you’re doing an excessive amount of.

    Extra Triceps Workouts: