French press: do you need to change the angle of inclination?

French press: do you need to change the angle of inclination?

For training triceps, the French press is one of the best exercises. It is effective and proven by more than one generation of triceps of the shoulder. Schemes of options for performing the exercise “French press” are taken from the book “Anatomy of strength exercises” by F. Delavier. During its existence, the French press has acquired several varieties. It is performed both with dumbbells and with a barbell, both with an EZ-bar and with a straight one. But the most interesting thing is to perform this exercise from different angles. French bench press. The most common version of this exercise that can be found in gyms. Head up. No less frequent version of this exercise than the previous one. The angle of inclination of the bench is set from approximately 45 degrees to 60 degrees. Performing upside down. A rather rare option, but it also has a place. 

By the way, how do you prefer to perform the French press?

The scheme of the triceps muscle of the shoulder is taken from the book “Anatomy of Strength Exercises” by F. Delavier. The triceps muscle of the shoulder is 3 bundles, which can be conventionally called: long, middle and lateral (long head, medial and lateral). The largest of them is anatomically long. The main task of the triceps is to extend the elbow, and the French press is ideal for this task. And with such work, all 3 bundles work harmoniously, and it will not work to isolate the work of one of them, one way or another, the others will receive, albeit indirect, but a good load. 

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But, despite this

It is possible to concentrate work on one beam more than on others, precisely by changing the angle of inclination of the bench in this exercise. Three angles of performance. The classic option is to perform lying down. The peculiarity of this exercise is that you have to lower the bar to your head, and your elbows are in a position almost perpendicular to the body. With this execution, the workload is almost evenly divided between the long and medium beam. French overhead press. In this version, the elbows and the body are on the same axis, and the bar already has to be lowered behind the head.

 In this position

The long beam is actively included in the work, and the middle and side beams receive only an indirect load. Head down. In this version, the weight will also have to be lowered behind the head, but the position of the elbows will be almost perpendicular to the body. And in this position, the middle beam will work more.

Conclusion. The following conclusions can be drawn from all of the above:

If the goal is to pump up the triceps as quickly as possible, then it is worth doing the French press with the head up – since this option most actively uses the long bundle, and anatomically it is the largest. If you need to add mass to the lateral head, then you should do the French press with your head down. And the execution of the French press lying down guarantees the uniform development of the triceps. It is also worth remembering that the range of repetitions of 8-12 is optimal for this exercise. And the number of approaches: 3-5.

Jenny Wilson

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