The Hex Press

The Hex Press is a great chest exercise that is usually performed with two dumbbells squeezed together, but can also be done with one for a slightly easier regression.

The exercise is similar to a regular Dumbbell Chest Press but rather than holding the dumbbells independently from each other, the dumbells are squeezed together throughout the movement. Or if one dumbbell is being used, it is held lengthways, and you squeeze inwards on either end as you move.

What are the benefits of the Hex Press?

The main benefit to the Hex Press is that the inward squeeze on the dumbbells activates the inner portion of the pectoral muscles to a greater degree to a standard Chest Press, making it a great choice for building lean mass on the chest.

Additionally, the neutral grip is a much safer position for the shoulders, reducing the risk of shoulder impingment and making it a more comfortable movement for anyone already suffering with shoulder pain.

A third benefit comes from the increased stability challenge (more prevalent with the 2 dumbbell variation as they are pushed together) which strengthens the muscles responsible for stabilising the shoulders, which offers strength transference when we go back to our heavier pressing movements.

Hex Press muscles worked…

Like other chest pressing exercises, the Hex Press primarily works pectoralis major, as well as the pectoralis minor, anterior delts, and triceps. The inward squeeze on the dumbbells aims to put greater emphasis on the inner chest which can be effective at sculpting definition in the chest.

How to perform the Hex Press…

To perform the Hex Press, position yourself on the bench as you would for a standard dumbbell Chest Press: drive your feet into the floor, push your hips into the bench and once you have the dumbbells over your chest – retract your shoulder blades, push your upper back into the bench and brace the core.

From here, push inwards against the dumbbell hard, focusing on contracting the chest muscles and keep the inward tension consistent as you press up and down for the desired number of reps.

When to use the Hex Press

The Hex Press is a brilliant accessory exercise that will help to build strength, size and definition to your pecs.

We will generally always prioritise the more traditional pressing movements of Barbell Bench Press, Dips and Dumbbell Chest Press, as these will allow for heavier lifting; but introducing variations, such as the Hex Press, in your programming from time to time, can stimulate muscle growth by working the muscles from slightly different angles.

If you like this article, why not check out other exercise breakdowns, like the Pin Press or Bulgarian Split Squat!