Maximize Your Chest Gains With The Svend press

Looking for a new exercise to add to your chest routine? Maybe something that provides a different type of stimulus than your flies and bench presses? Enter the Svend press. Unless you know your strongman competitors, the name of the exercise is going to sound rather meaningless. That is because it was utilized and made popular by elite strong man, Svend Karlson.


If an exercise is good enough for a guy who dominated the world’s strongest man event in 2001 and becoming known for shouting the catchphrase “Viking power!” then it is certainly worth looking into.

The Svend press is quite different from most other chest exercises, you may have even seen it being done in the gym and been unsure of what it was actually for. However, its’ uniqueness is one of the reasons why it should be considered as part of your chest training.

Why You Should Try The Svend Press

As I already mentioned, the Svend press is very different from most of the other chest exercises you are used to doing. Because the exercise itself is quite unique, the way in which it works your chest muscles is also unique.

The biggest benefit of the Svend press is the use of an isometric contraction throughout the entire exercise. During the exercise, you are forced to squeeze your hands together out in front of your body. This forces your arms across your chest and gives your pectoral muscles no choice but to contract.

The isometric contraction placed on your pecs keeps them engaged and under tension for the entirety of each rep; there is no rest point for your chest like there would be in a bench press.

The peak contraction, which happens at the end of each rep is also very strong. As a result of your hands being closer together, you are able to squeeze and tense your chest seriously hard as you complete a rep.

The squeeze is a similar feeling to contraction at the end of a fly but you are able to feel it strongly from the start of each rep and then even stronger at the end. For this reason, the Svend press is a very good exercise to enhance your mind-muscle connection with your pectorals, which is something many people struggle with.

On top of the isometric contraction, you are also using a press, which is another primary function of your chest. Of course, you aren’t going to be using as much weight for this press as you could on a flat bench but the constant tension and contraction makes up for that.

As an added benefit, unlike other presses, the angle of the Svend press tends not to recruit your triceps very much. For some exercises, this fact could be a downfall but the Svend press is used to feel your chest flexing hard. So, you don’t want the triceps taking over.

Sure, it does work your anterior deltoids heavily due to your arm angle. However, any other press is going to recruit those muscles as well. It all comes down to feeling that chest contraction and putting the focus into your pecs.

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How To Perform The Svend Press

This is an extremely simple exercise to perform. All you need at two weight plates and enough space to extend your arms in front of you.


The Step-By-Step Guide:

  1. Between your palms with flat hands and fingers spread, sandwich two plates flat together.
  2. Stand tall with your abs braced and your shoulders back and down to puff your chest out slightly.
  3. Bring your hands, with the plates locked between them, up to the centre of your chest
  4. . Keeping the plates pushed hard together, extend your elbows and push the plates out directly in front of you
  5. . Flex your chest hard when your arms reach full extension then return back to the start position and repeat for your next rep.

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As you can now see, it really is a truly simple exercise to perform. You can even try pressing at slightly different angles to vary how your chest is working. For example, pressing upwards slightly will shift the emphasis more to your upper chest muscles.

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Final Thoughts And Tips For The Svend Press

Generally, the Svend press is going to be one of those finisher type exercises that you employ close to the end of your chest workouts. After you have done your heavier work, it can be an excellent exercise to add in when you want to focus more specifically on fatiguing your pecs.

For this kind of exercise, I prefer to go for a slightly higher rep range and drive a lot of blood into the muscles. A few sets of 12-15 reps is what I suggest for this one.

Now that you know all you need to know about the Svend press, the only thing left is for you to give a try on your next chest session. As always, make sure you let me know how you find it in the comments section below.

Kelly Joyner

Hi, I'm Kelly, I'm very glad you took a few minutes of your time to check out my blog. RegularityFitness is a blog about the best fitness exercises, weight loss methods, diet, muscle building. That will help you get a good shape and healthy.

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