Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredMachine
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Shoulders, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Chest Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Hammer Strength Bench Press Overview

The machine bench press is a variation of the barbell bench press used to strengthen the muscles of the chest. It will also indirectly target the muscles of the shoulders and triceps.

One would use the machine bench press as a way to perform the pressing movement pattern with a focus on isolating the chest. One can better isolate certain muscle groups with a machine due to its fixed movement pattern.

The machine bench press is best added towards the end of your chest workout if you are training for hypertrophy, after you’ve used other more compound variations to work your push muscles.

Hammer Strength Bench Press Instructions

  1. Sit on the end of the bench and lie back with the handles just below shoulder height. The handles should mimic the position of the bar when benching.
  2. Position your palms on the handles, inhale, and set your shoulder blades together on the bench.
  3. Press the handles to extension as you exhale but keep the shoulder blades packed.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Hammer Strength Bench Press Tips

  1. Many lifters use a thumbless grip with this machine variation as they feel it is easier to keep tension through the pecs and triceps rather than having to worry about squeezing the bar excessively tight.
  2. Squeezing the handles tightly instead of using a thumbless grip can help to improve a phenomenon known as “irradiation” which promotes greater shoulder stability.
  3. Keep your shoulder blades pinched together to ensure the shoulders remain in a safe position.
  4. Imagine you’re trying to push yourself away from the weights rather than pushing the weights away from yourself.
  5. If you’re feeling pain within the shoulder joint itself (specifically at the front), ensure your shoulder blades are slightly retracted and try to keep the shoulder girdle “packed”.
  6. Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to excessive arch.
  7. Keep your feet flat on the floor and don’t allow the lower body to move during the set.
Nicholas Vara
Posted on: Fri, 03/29/2024 - 10:32

While it does take the stabilizer muscles out of the equation, I find this machine very helpful so long as you are still doing traditional press. Everyone's different but fir reference I'll do 245lbs 3 sets of 8 on bench and on thisnmachine I'll do 370 lbs at the end of chest day with 3 sets of 8. Kind of analogous to a squat vs a leg press.

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2023 - 10:34

So I did 270 for 2 reps yesterday I know this isn't barbell but I actually lifted 270lbs of plates and this isn't like a Smith machine so nothing is helping me lift just myself my buddy Said this isn't the same obviously cause ur not using stabilizer muscles but it's still the same weight

Mateo Vukasovic
Posted on: Tue, 10/10/2023 - 10:57

Is this the same as dumbell bench press? I might be struggling with the form with dumbells and I prefer this one so can I just replace that exercise with this one in my workout?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 10/22/2023 - 11:00

You can make that change if you like, Mateo.

Posted on: Sun, 12/18/2022 - 08:05

Is this the same as the sitting machine press. Apart from the regular bench press my gym has 3 variations of the sitting machine press; standard, incline and wide

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/26/2022 - 10:39

They have similar benefits. I actually prefer the seated version because you're pressing horizontally, which can target the pecs while minimizing the work of the shoulders. You should be fine by doing the seated machines.

Posted on: Sun, 03/20/2022 - 13:35

Would Incline bench press be a good replacement for this ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 03/26/2022 - 17:57

It sure would be, Amogh.

Mostafa El Shahaby
Posted on: Fri, 08/21/2020 - 09:10

Is it the same like chest press?
How can i choose weight that is suitable to me?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 09/22/2020 - 09:39

Hi Mostafa - yes, this is similar to the standard bench press. This is another variation that you can add into your upper body/chest days. As far as weight, it is important to choose a weight that you can complete safely with the correct form for the given number of reps that you're doing.

Posted on: Mon, 11/06/2017 - 18:40

If you don’t have a Hammer strength bench at the gym what can you do to replace it?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 11/07/2017 - 11:23

Hi Mitch,

There are a number of variations you can perform instead of the hammer strength bench press. You could do dumbbell press variations, barbell press variations, push up variations, cable press variations.

Hope this helps!

Richard D Muraoka
Posted on: Sun, 04/27/2014 - 02:23

I use incline dumbbell bench press triple dropsetd with ,NOS training. Incline hammer strenght machine apply tension push inward.

Posted on: Thu, 03/06/2014 - 05:10

How effective is this compared to bench press?

chetan bhatt
Posted on: Mon, 06/03/2013 - 07:42

Thanks, wow, great,
very helpful information
eager to receive in future too.
with regards,

Posted on: Thu, 05/17/2012 - 22:07

use dumbbells instead duh

gary russo
Posted on: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 14:40

who sells the hammer strength bench and how much are they

Posted on: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 02:24

Hey Steve;
I just wanted to know what can i do instead of this exercise my gym doesnt have this machine..

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:51

i just wanted to know what can i do instead of this exercise my gym doesnt have this machine........
Hip press is suitable

Posted on: Tue, 05/29/2012 - 05:04

you can use dumbbell bench press very effective

Posted on: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 17:47

I workout at home, I have a body craft 2 in 1 and olympic bench press and curl bar, looking for the best five day workout, what I am doing is just not working, no results.