Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePush
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Triceps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Seated French Press Instructions

  1. Set up for the seated french press by loading a barbell or EZ bar with the appropriate amount of weight and placing it in front of a 90 degree angle bench.
  2. Sit with your back flat against the bench with your feet flat on the floor and the barbell resting on your thighs.
  3. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing down) with your hands about 8-12 inches apart.
  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. 

Seated French Press Tips

  • Technique is really important! Don't let your elbows flare out as you move the barbell, and keep the rep timing slow and controlled.  
  • Don't lock your elbows out at the top of the movement and take the tension off of your triceps.
  • Focus on keeping your body as still as possible, moving only your forearms.
Posted on: Wed, 08/28/2013 - 01:53

this particular workout is really good, but for some reason I feel a lot of tension in my back when I do these. Is there a way to tweak this to alleviate the tension or even an alternate exercise?

Posted on: Sun, 07/08/2018 - 14:13

Lie down ;)