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Close-grip Chest Press Exercise on Hammer Strength Machine

I like this close-grip chest press as a compliment to an existing line of weight training chest press machines from Hammer Strength like the wide chest press and the incline chest press, not as a stand-alone or replacement for either of the two mentioned Hammer Strength exercise machines.

This is not a machine that I would use every week or for every chest workout, but I would use this machine every second chest workout, rotated with a close-grip cable pulley chest press which offers constant resistance both on the positive and negative movements of the exercise. It’s more advantageous to add some variety into your chest workout by exercising your pectoral muscles a little differently. It will give you more chest muscle definition and a more sculpted chest and it is always good to hit your pectoral muscles from different angles, to provide you with a more well-rounded chest workout.

Not sure how each chest exercise affects or works out your chest? Try this: without using any weights or machines, move your right arm forward (press forward), imitate using different handle grips (i.e., close-grip, wide-grip). Place your left hand on your right chest. You will now feel exactly how each movement works the right side of your chest muscles.

The only thing that I do not like about this machine is that the handles are too far back, making it very difficult to initially push out to begin the exercise and to release the handles once you are finished - at the end of your last repetition. I like the handles to be a little bit more in front of me and not so far back.

This machine also seems to offer a lot of resistance which is not a bad thing, so you will find the weight plates that you will want to use may or should be less.

Overall, this machine seems to offer a lot of benefits despite one major design shortcoming or flaw. This machine is new, I have never seen it in a gym before, so I am not sure if it is a new design and model that is currently being offered by Hammer Strength.

Here is my selfie exercise video that I took at LA Fitness on how to do this exercise.



How to do this exercise:

  • Adjust seat to desired height, grab the two handles in close-grip and push outwards a little. This is your starting position.
  • Press two handles forward without locking your elbows. There should be a slight bend in your elbows at top of movement, the machine will dictate how far you can go.
  • Release back to starting position and repeat the chest press movement for desired number of reps.
  • Breathe out as you press (forward movement) and breath in as you bring the handles back to the starting position.
  • Do 4-5 sets of 12 repetitions.


I like to do the first set with lighter weights just as a warm-up for my chest muscles. It’s always good to do your first set with lighter weights to warm-up your muscles for the exercise.

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