A particularly lesser-known chest exercise, Svend Press, is an isometric pressing exercise through the chest that uses a squeezing motion to switch on the pecs. We can’t deny that a well-developed chest is one of the bedrock of many weight exercises and helps you carry over into several athletic trainings and movements.

Developed by the 2001 World’s Strongest Man winner, Svend Karlsen, the idea is to rely heavily on the pecs to promote chest hypertrophy and prime the pectorals for other compound exercises such as the bench press. The movement may be deceivingly simple and unimpressed, but the simplified motion is guaranteed to add significant gains to your chest game and improve your mind-muscle connection.

While the Svend press is safe and comfortable to perform, let’s break down the best form and tips to get you started with this A-list, major mass building exercise. 

This Ultimate Guide Will Cover:

  • How To Do Svend Press
  • Svend Press Benefits
  • Common Svend Press Mistakes To Avoid
  • Svend Press Muscles Worked
  • Svend Press vs. Standard Bench Press
  • Our Trainer’s Suggested Reps, Sets, & Programs
  • Svend Press Variations
  • Svend Press Alternative Exercises
  • Wrap Up
  • FAQs About Svend Press

How To Do Svend Press

What You’ll Need:

  • Weight plates. The ideal combined weight at its maximum is 20 lbs.

Alternative Equipment:

  • Dumbbell 
  • Kettlebell

Step 1. Position yourself on the platform

Grab two small-weight plates. We highly recommend weight plates so you can focus on squeezing them together while in motion. Start with lighter plates, and go heavier as you get stronger.  Begin in an upright standing position with your legs shoulder-width apart.

Step 2. Pinch the weight plates

Pinch two weight plates in your hands and raise them to the centerline of your chest with your fingers pointing forward. You should submit both elbows to be parallel with each other and on a level plane with the floor. 

Bring in your lower back, pull up and out all of your shoulders, then stick out your chest.

Step 3. Press the weights

Crush the plates against each other to make your chest contract. Slowly extend your elbows on a horizontal plane. Push straight out before you without locking it while simultaneously squeezing your chest muscles.

Remember to slowly press your hands to avoid stressing your arms too much. Exhale while doing this part of the exercise.

Step 4. Hold and return

Hold for a count of two and squeeze your chest muscles as much as possible. Inhale while slowly pulling the plates back to your body, with both hands maintaining tension. Repeat this for the desired number of repetitions.

6 Svend Press Benefits

1. Build Muscle

The tension in your chest muscles will stay on them for the duration of the exercise, unlike how it is often with pectoralis major. Increased blood flow and stimulation may lead to more significant hypertrophy in the long run.

2. Engagement of the Muscle Fiber

It is essential to experience this constant tension as it has the potential to maintain engagement with all of your muscle fibers on the chest and arms. It will allow you to feel parts of your body that were unknown before and give you the ability for more strength when lifting. 

It can significantly help increase pressing ability over time because it creates a need for constant engagement between muscle groups like the abdominals, biceps wall, triceps wall, and shoulder girdle stabilizers which are also heavily engaged during presses, including overhead presses (OHPs).

3. Improved Blood Circulation

Svend press works to direct vital nutrients to the muscle tissue and increase its energy and contractile strength, and aid in recovery time. It helps improve blood circulation, which can lead to an improvement of healthy overall body performance.

4. Targets the Chest Muscles

Svend presses are chest workouts under immense tension because you constantly have to make the squeezing motion of the weight plate. If you know anything about lifting, then it’s no doubt that time under pressure is one of the essential variables for chest muscle building.

The svend press is one good way to increase muscle growth without overloading the triceps or shoulders. Using the svend press can help increase muscle activation and prime specifically the pectorals muscle for more compound press movements.

5. Suitable for the Shoulder Joint

A properly executed svend press can minimize strain on the shoulders joint and the rotator cuff while still increasing muscle growth of the chest muscles.

6. Reduce Stress of Shoulder Girdle and Bicep Tendon

The svend press works as an excellent way to reduce stress on the shoulder girdle and forearm muscles; this is one of the chest workouts that doesn’t require you to use a table. This entire exercise is unique for making a solid chest and the front deltoids.

Common Svend Press Mistakes to Avoid

When doing svend press, it’s essential to avoid making mistakes. Here are the top three svend press mistakes to avoid:

Fail to Do a Full Extension

You fail to do a full extension at the top of the movement; this shortens your range of motion and limits your muscle activity.

Too Many Repetitions 

Doing too many repetitions in a row without taking a break. Doing this can fatigue your muscles, making them less effective for future exercises. 

Holding your Breath

Holding your breath makes you work harder, leading to more discomfort or cramps in your stomach, back, or shoulders. Also, it will decrease oxygen levels and make you tired more quickly since you didn’t use as much oxygen during each rep as you would if breathing freely.

Svend Press Muscles Worked

The muscles worked in the isometric squat are the following:

Primary Muscles

  • Triceps brachii
  • Biceps
  • Front deltoids

Secondary Muscles

  • Anterior deltoid
  • Middle deltoids
  • Pectoral muscles
  • Lats 
  • Core

The svend press is an excellent exercise for targeting your upper chest and trapezius. Moreover, this exercise works your pectoral and deltoids in rotation, which is something that no other chest exercise can do for you.

The svend press is also a great way to work your forearms, triceps, and rear shoulders. It works your entire upper shoulders. So not only will you build your chest and shoulders, but you’ll also help strengthen your back, traps, and other muscles in your shoulders.

Svend Press vs Standard Bench Press

The Svend Press is a great chest exercise. This exercise is for those who want more muscle on their chest, making it a stalwart among bodybuilders. This challenging exercise requires you to push your chest out and breathe. It exercises the muscles in the back of your neck, shoulders, pecs, and triceps.

This press can also help improve posture by strengthening those areas in need. The upper traps are worked on when pushing the bar up while curving into it with their lower backs upright.

The svend press is limited in the range of motion compared to a normal chest workout, but one of the key benefits over a traditional is that your pectoral muscles still get used. 

This exercise has the same muscle engagement as a Bench Press; it also targets your back muscles, core muscles, and legs. They can also get high degrees of muscle shortening and isometric tension at the top output so that you can hold the bar at the top for a longer time. 

You can do the svend press in an elevated position with your toes while the bench press is done on a flat surface with your feet on the ground. Bench presses equipment includes a flat surface, dumbbells, or some other weight for lifting, and a mat if you’re doing it at home; you only needs dumbbells or weights for the svend press. Moreover, the svend press focuses exclusively on building the chest muscles.

Our Trainer’s Suggested Reps, Sets, and Programs:

Our designed program is to help you achieve your desired fitness goals, whether that’s building muscle mass, strength training, or simply being more active.

For General Fitness

To perform the svend press, ensure your chest and pectoral stay under tension, squeezing throughout the movement. You should aim for five sets of 5-10 reps. Try to complete this exercise slowly- do not rush or move quickly. Remember to bring your arms back slowly as well.

For Muscle Building

The svend press recruits chest muscles and builds muscle mass in the chest. You can use a variety of rep ranges like five to 10 reps or up 20-30 reps for three sets total.

For Strength Training

Performing this exercise with slightly high repetitions will drive more blood into your muscles. You should aim for longer repetitions in this isometric contraction, from 10 to 20 reps.

Svend Press Variations

There are many variations of the svend press, and they’ll challenge your muscles and keep your workouts progressive.

Floor Svend Press

The pinch press – floor press is a great and much more effective way to target and train your chest than the standing version. 

You can use pretty much anything for this variation: a plate, kettlebell, dumbbell, or even a pair of dumbbells. The floor svend press will focus more on your whole chest muscles because it’s an upward pushing movement from a dead stop.

Dumbbell Svend Press

The bench press is one of the most popular and practical exercises for building strength in many muscles, especially those around the chest. This significant variation will allow you to lift heavier loads while still recreating that same muscle contraction you get from traditional bar weight presses like Dips or Bicep Curls variations. 

Cable Svend Press

Instead of using other equipment to do this workout, you’ll use cables. This functional exercise can be done standing up or kneeling down and even while lying still. In cable svend press, cable wires add resistance to the exercise because they will constantly pull your hands apart.

Svend Press Alternatives

If you don’t want to use this exercise, you can do various other activities that work your upper body.

Dumbbell Floor Press

The dumbbell floor press is a variation of the floor press and targets the triceps wall and chest growth. When using it for chest workout, focus on squeezing at the movement’s top. Floor presses are helpful for those looking to build more muscular triceps walls and add mass to their chest.

Spoto Press

Spoto press is the movement like the paused bench press on steroids. While still staying the barbell, it’s only one to two inches off the chest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bench pressing is a form of weight training that targets the major or chest muscles of the pectoralis. But it’s not as safe to do because you’re using heavy objects like dumbbells. Instead, using the svend press exercise might be safer, more manageable, can be mastered quickly, and requires minimal precautions.

Yes, you can do svend press with dumbbells. Dumbbells are often used for this chest workout because it relies less heavily on weightlifting equipment like barbells and machines. They also allow more freedom than other weights in both movement and range of motion.

The svend press is a chest exercise that targets the pectoralis major muscles. It’s done by pressing your hands against each other in front of you, with just enough pressure to make them touch or come close together.

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