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Context: for my workouts I can only consider free weights and bodyweight exercises (home gym with power rack). In my chest workout I currently perform:

  • bench press (barbell)
  • flys (dumbbell)
  • hip press (dumbbell)

That last exercise isn't too well-known, as the only videos I can find are https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSnhS0S7swQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkmakZelRTQ.

However, I'd like to replace this exercise with a barbell exercise (for supersetting reasons, having only one set of dumbbells).

My first solution was to do the same movement but replacing the dumbbells with the barbell.

Question: can such a hip press with a barbell be considered useful and safe (because, as far as I know, this exercise doesn't seem very common)?

I have tried it once for 3 sets of 12, and it does seem to activate the chest muscles in a focused manner. I was lying on the floor (as Scooby suggests) to prevent an overly extended range of motion. Furthermore I have used an underhand grip, this may not sound intuitive, but with a straight barbell this keeps the elbows automatically tucked in.

  • Have you looked into dips? They're a better, more common, easier to do exercise that will hit the same muscles you're trying to hit here. – Antrim Nov 10 '15 at 16:11
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People probably call the "hip press" by another name:

  • Dumbbell Floor Press

That's a name that includes elbows flared, palms facing, and in the middle (hip press).

With that in mind, I know several people who employ:

  • Barbell Floor Press
  • Reverse Grip Bench Press

Both are valid exercises. Personally, I get more chest activation with dumbbells.

Efficacy

Just a fancy word to say how useful the exercise is for it's intended purpose.

You can get a good burn in your pecs performing the exercise you are describing. If I have it pictured in my mind right, it's a Barbell Reverse Grip Floor Press. The only thing that would prevent it from being useful is if the weight you are using is too light.

Whatever set/rep scheme you choose, you should be focusing on maximizing the number of fatigue inducing reps to build muscle. That means you should be working with weight that's heavy enough to say you don't have any more in you, or at the very most 1-2 reps left.

Safety

As long as you are using weights you don't go to failure on, there's nothing more to say other than respect the bar. However, if you are the least bit unsure, set your rack safeties just below where the bar would rest with your elbows on the floor. The point of the safeties is to prevent the bar from slipping and dropping on your chest, neck, or face.

Say no to flys

I will advise to do something else other than chest flys. The main problem with them is that it is too easy to turn it into a shoulder tendon stretch rather than keep it focused on the pecs. Dumbbell bench press with the elbows flared is much safer (doesn't carry the risk to the shoulders) and you can still get that deep pec stretch.

Reverse flys, or rear delt raises, are good. They help build the rear delts and pose no risk to the shoulder.

  • Cool, thanks. Did not know about the floor press. – FDM Nov 10 '15 at 17:59

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