How to Do the Seated Machine Chest Press

Using a chest press machine offers a bench press workout in a seated position.

The seated machine chest press is an upright version of the standard lying bench press. The arms, under load, are pushed away from the chest and returned to starting position.

This exercise uses a Nautilus machine for this purpose. Variable weights can be loaded on pins that activate the load on the lever-like apparatus as you push.

Here's where you can find out more weight training terminology and exercise descriptions before you try this exercise.

How to Perform the Seated Machine Chest Press

Seated Machine Chest Press
Starting Seated Machine Chest Press. Photo (C) Paul Rogers & Cooloola Fitness
  1. Sit comfortably on the machine with your feet placed firmly on the floor about shoulder width apart. If this is your first use of this machine, start with a small test load fixed on each side of the weight pins.
  2. Grasp the handles and push the bars outward to full extension of the elbows (see photos), but without "locking out" explosively.
  3. Try to keep the head steady, against the upright pad and the neck still. Breathe out on exertion and in on recovery.
  4. You should feel significant resistance against the horizontal push. Try different weights until you are able to push out and back for about 10 repetitions, the last repetition feeling somewhat difficult.
  5. Try 3 sets of 10. Start with less if you need to. Rest a few minutes between each set of 10.

Seated Machine Chest Press Points to Note

Seated Machine Chest Press Action
Doing the Seated Machine Chest Press. Photo (C) Paul Rogers & Cooloola Fitness
  1. If your device has an adjustable seat height and horizontal position, try to ensure the setting allows your arms to push at approximately a horizontal position to the floor with your arms extended (see photo).
  2. Try not to get into a position in which your shoulder joint is extended with your elbows too far to the rear when you grasp the handles to begin the exercise. A little is OK, but the hand grips should be in front of your body line.
  3. The exercise works the pectoral muscles of the chest and also the arms and shoulders, to a lesser extent.

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