The Svend Press Is A Pointless Exercise
There is an exercise I have seen being done more recently in the YouTube community called the Svend Press. Although the people who do this exercise are big, brawny, and filled with conviction on the benefits of this exercise, they are WRONG! In this article, I will have a Video below of myself, the man of steel, performing the Svend Press exercise. In this video, I will explain to you exactly how to do this exercise and why it is so ineffective.
Before that video though, let me first explain, briefly, how the exercise is done.
How To Do The Svend Press
To begin, find a weighted plate that is about 10 pounds or so. Stand up while clasping this plate between your hands. What you want to do for this exercise is to SQUEEZE the weight plate between the palms of your hands and feel your inner chest contracting. This is the key part of doing this exercise that people say targets your chest. Next, while the plate is at your chest level, push it away from your body. Then, pull it back towards you and repeat. While doing the Svend Press exercise, make sure that squeeze is constantly occurring.
Essentially, the exercise begins like this (I’m showing it being done with a ball, but remember, this is a pointless exercise, so it doesn’t really matter what is being used).
While the exercise ends like this (except you are SQUEEZING with your hands).
And throughout that whole motion, you are SQUEEZING YOUR CHEST! That’s what those who do this exercise tell you. You MUST, SQUEEZE, HARD! That is how the exercise works out your inner chest they say!
Okay, so now you are probably wondering, “What’s this guy’s issue with the Svend Press?” “Why does he hate it so much?” Well, let’s get to that now…
Read More Below…
Why The Svend Press Is A Terrible Exercise
In my video below, I will explain exactly why this exercise is such a poor one. Although this video will state my exact thoughts on this exercise, I will continue writing on why the Svend Press is bogus and makes no sense.
It is Not a Chest Exercise
My main issue with this exercise is that, although it is touted as a chest exercise, it is not one! This exercise is actually more of a shoulder and arm exercise. When you are holding that weight plate in front of you, your front deltoid is contracting to flex your shoulder. By this muscle contracting, it is allowing you to hold that plate straight in front of you. Your arm muscles at your elbow must also contract to stabilize the weight plate.
So now you are probably wondering, “Okay, I get that, but aren’t you still pressing that plate away from your body? You are still using your chest muscles doing that, right?” Well, that’s true! However, think of gravity.
Gravity is PULLING that weight you are holding in front of you DOWN towards the Earth. The line of force of that weight is down. To counter that line of force, your shoulders and arms must contract to keep that weight from falling. All your chest is doing is pressing the weight away from you, while your Lats pull it back towards you. No direct resistance is being provided to your chest in the Svend Press exercise.
Now, let’s take a look at the bench press exercise. In the bench press, your arms are coming horizontally across and inwards, closer towards your body. That is the primary action of your Pec Major, your main chest muscle. Your Pec Major is also functioning during the Svend Press. You are standing and your Pec Major is pushing the weight away from you. HOWEVER, the line of force of the weight is straight down towards the ground.
Now, in the bench press exercise below, where is the line of force of the weight?
That’s right, it is STRAIGHT down towards the ground. HOWEVER, your chest is right underneath that bar. The weight of the bar is providing direct resistance against the movement of your chest through a full range of motion. This is exactly why the Svend Press is a terrible exercise. It does not provide any direct resistance to the chest because you are standing and holding the weight out in front of you. With the bench press, direct resistance is being applied against the movement of your chest.
Higher Weight On The Svend Press Has No Influence On How Hard You Have To Squeeze
Here is the BIGGEST thing that annoys me about people who do the Svend Press. They say to add more weight to influence how hard you are squeezing your chest. However, like I said above, it is not your chest working on this exercise. Because you are standing and holding the weight out in front of you, it is your shoulders and arms working. This is because the line of force of the weight is STRAIGHT DOWN towards the GROUND! So adding more weight will only make your shoulders and arms work harder.
My point is that you can squeeze the weight as hard or as soft as you want to by contracting your chest. How much weight you are doing on the Svend Press has no relation to how hard or soft you need to contract your chest.
You could really be holding anything out in front of you between your hands. You could be holding a piece of cardboard, a shoe, a shirt, ANYTHING!
You could be holding a pineapple in front of you squeezing your inner chest. Doing this would essentially give you the same chest workout you would get on the Svend Press exercise.
Final Thoughts On The Svend Press
To conclude, the Svend Press is a poorly thought out exercise that should not be done. Although it is touted as a chest workout, it isn’t one. One would get the same chest workout squeezing a pineapple as they would squeezing the weight plate on the Svend Press. Finally, this exercise just looks silly to do. One is far better off doing the bench press exercise for their chest than doing this exercise. Basically, the Svend Press gets a BIG, FAT, THUMBS DOWN from me!