French Press Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Barbell
  • Isolation
  • Push
  • Beginner
  • None
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Triceps Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Set up for the french press by loading a barbell or EZ-bar with the appropriate amount of weight and placing it on the floor in front of you.
  2. Bend only at the knees and grasp the barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing down) with your hands about 8-12 inches apart.
  3. Stand up straight with the bar with your feet around shoulder width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
  4. Lift the bar above your head and bend at your elbows slightly to take the tension onto your triceps. Your palms are now facing upward. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  5. Keeping your elbows fixed and pointing straight up toward the ceiling, slowly lower the bar down behind your head as far as comfortably possible.
  6. Pause, and then slowly raise the bar back to the starting position.
  7. Don't lock your elbows out, and then repeat the movement. 

Exercise Tips:

  1. Technique is really important! Don't let your elbows flare out as you move the barbell, and keep the rep timing slow and controlled.
  2. Don't lock your elbows out at the top of the movement and take the tension off of your triceps.
  3. Focus on keeping your body as still as possible, moving only your forearms.
  4. Keep your head up and eyes facing forward throuought the movement.

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11 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 11/27/2016 - 18:33
Starlight Engram

This is a standing skull crusher. also see Dorian Yates' prone isolated lats extension. Good term French standing t-cep extension.

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Posted Wed, 09/17/2014 - 13:18

Why are so many comments ranked negatively by other users? It paints a bad picture when no-one can ask a question and another answer without so many people taking it bad.

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Posted Fri, 11/28/2014 - 15:24

So many negative response because so many think they know everything when it come to using weights and bodybuilding.

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Posted Tue, 05/13/2014 - 16:19

spent a couple months without any exersize equip.did nothing but push ups,dips and chin ups. Im certain if injured my shoulder sockets. reason?also any suggestions on rehabilitating them. cant even straightarm a gallon of milk into the fridge without extreme pain in my rotator cups,like jabbin a knife into them.

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Posted Wed, 12/11/2013 - 22:22

I guess this french press is kind a triceps isolation,im right?

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Posted Wed, 04/24/2013 - 00:26
g kay

Is there a variation for French press I think this exercise is causing me a pain in my left elbow..........could be a tennis elbow

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Posted Mon, 03/11/2013 - 11:39

Would doing a dumbbell triceps extension have the same benefits as this?

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Posted Sat, 09/22/2012 - 09:58

Can u do this sat on a bench as I hav a slightly low roof in my garage lol

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Posted Tue, 11/20/2012 - 05:08
Adam Haze
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Posted Sun, 11/27/2016 - 18:42
Starlight Engram

I set back on a slanted seat with a dumbell gripped with both hands. Put it overhead then bend arms at elbows. Let hands/weight descend to level with C7 behind the seat back. Keep upper arms steady and extend only forearms to barely lockout. That is 1 rep. Beginners at 10 reps per set x 3 @ 10 - 20 pounds. 2nd year and up go 40 to 70 pounds @ 12 - 15 reps x 4-5 sets. 3rd year at capacity. 4th year going for the redline.

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Posted Sun, 04/15/2012 - 14:36

Thanks, I have done this exercise before, but was keeping my hands in too close, and also moving too fast.