Even beginner powerlifters, bodybuilders, and, especially, arm wrestlers understand the importance of the condition of the triceps muscle in these sports. For those who have reached a training plateau in the development of the muscle located on the back of the arm and extensor of the elbow, we invite you to get acquainted or raise awareness about the legendary author’s exercise, which is sure to increase the volume and strength of your triceps – JM Press.
JM Press’ Origins
This oblique movement of the bar was invented by powerlifting record holder J. M. Blakley. The athlete used this exercise since the correct technique allows you to overcome the achieved thresholds of strength and volume of the triceps.
Do you want to become the owner of unrealistically strong and/or huge arms? Has your bench press max reached its limit and hasn’t increased for a long time? Then the JM Press should be your number one exercise. This advice comes from the famous Eric D. Spoto, who, with the help of the practice of the JM press, quickly managed to lift 327.5 kg in the bench press without equipment, thereby setting a world record in 2013.
J. Maddox, the latest world record holder in this discipline, who benched 354.7 kg in February 2021, also calls JM Press his favorite exercise.
What is JM Press?
JM Press is a hybrid-isolated, super effective triceps workout that allows you to give it the maximum weight load and at the same time protect the shoulder girdle and deltoid muscles from excessive load. It was because of Blakely’s passion for large weights that he had the idea of combining two classic exercises into one:
- bench press with a narrow grip;
- triceps extension with a barbell from behind the head.
You can read 10 times what JM Press is, but it’s better to see it once. We also offer you to look at Blakely’s performance of the triceps press and the explanations that he gave at the time the popularity of this exercise began to grow among athletes around the world.
Who Should Opt For Blakely’s Press
The JM Press is the perfect exercise for training arm wrestlers, powerlifters, strongmen, and other strength athletes. It is included in the training of classical weightlifters, helping to safely train the arms and strengthen the triceps at the point where elbow extension with heavy weights is problematic.
Today, the JM press has also become a favorite exercise for CrossFitters and gymnasts. This exercise is included in the training of men involved in pair figure skating. By the way, rhythmic gymnasts also practice it in general physical training. This is done for strength and power in bending the elbows.
Well, bodybuilders, fitness professionals and professional athletes who correct and then maintain body proportions have been practicing the JM press to form the lateral relief of the shoulder for about 20 years, almost from the very beginning of its appearance.
Advantages and Features
Benefits of the JM press for athletes and strength sports athletes:
- JM press is relevant for those who can no longer increase the strength of the triceps with standard exercises.
- Compared to the classic bench press, the narrow arm position of the JM press allows for effective lockdown and pressing power, with more elbow flexion and increased stress on the triceps. At the same time, wear on the shoulder and wrist joints are significantly minimized.
- Doing one exercise aimed at increasing the strength of the triceps, it turns out to achieve efficiency, as from doing two ones. And it’s not just about saving time. Just having achieved certain results, for training it is necessary to lift such barbell weights that it becomes simply impossible to do several different exercises for the arms and shoulder girdle in one session.
But the peculiarity of the JM-press is that, by causing an overload of the lateral head of the triceps muscle of the shoulder, it naturally increases its muscle mass, while maintaining its natural density. This is why the JM press is attractive to bodybuilders and those who want to correct the appearance of the shoulder girdle.
Muscles Involved in JM Press
Flexion and extension of the elbows in the classic JM press technique maximize the use of the lateral (external) head of the 3-head muscle of the shoulder. The greatest load is achieved at the top of the press and falls on the lower part of the head near the elbow.
Far less, but due to the fact that during the exercise the shoulders are in the position of abduction from the vertical by 30–45 °, the pectoral and deltoid muscles are also worked out with the JM press.
In order to give a load on the medial (inner) head of the triceps, you need to practice the extension of the elbows with a reverse grip, and to work out the long head of the 3-head muscle of the shoulder, it is most effective to extend the arms with dumbbells or a barbell disc from behind the head.
JM Press Technique
Classic JM Press technique:
- Starting position: lying on the bench, the barbell is held with a straight narrow grip, the distance between the index fingers is 30–40 cm, the thumbs are around the barbell, the wrists are not extended, the elbows are straightened, the arms are not perpendicular to the torso, but are laid aside to the side of the head so that the barbell is located not in the middle, but above the upper part of the chest;
- As you inhale, begin to bend your elbows and wrists, and in the middle of the movement move your forearms 2-3 cm a little further behind your head, continuing to bend your elbows until your forearms touch your biceps, while the bar is in the area between the upper chest and chin;
- As you exhale, press the barbell, unbending your elbows, while simultaneously pressing the bar straight up, unbending your wrists, and sharply “hitting the ceiling with your fists”, to a position where straight arms are not perpendicular to the torso;
- While holding your breath, return your hands to their original position of abduction from the vertical by 30–45 °.
JM Blakley himself will tell you more about the nuances of his exercise.
Competent Dosing of The Load: Sets and Repetitions
First, work out the correct technique for performing with a barbell or with small weights. Start training the lateral head of the triceps only after an outside observer confirms that you are doing everything right.
Blakely recommends this JM Press practice scheme:
- To learn the technique, do 4-6 sets of 10 reps with light weight.
- The standard training load is 4 sets with maximum weight. In the first set, the number of repetitions from the very beginning should be 6, and in the rest – as many as possible. You should move on to increasing weight by 10–15 kg only when 6 repetitions are performed in all 4 sets.
- Do the JM press either as the first triceps exercise or right after the traditional bench press.
- To begin with, and for a sufficiently long period of time, limit the practice of JM press to 1 time per week.
JM Press is a non-standard movement, incorrect execution of which or too much initial weight can injure the ligaments of the elbow joints and the triceps tendon that attaches to the olecranon of the ulna. It will take time to increase their strength and durability. Therefore, you should be patient and take responsibility for the implementation of the proposed scheme for training the lateral heads of the triceps.
With regards to safety, it is the same as with the bench press. Loss of control while lowering the boom can cause a serious head injury.
To improve Blakely’s press technique, experts advise doing JM Press in a Smith machine.
To diversify the workout and load the muscles involved in bending the arms during the JM Press, we recommend practicing it with bands.
For those who have problems with their wrist joints, it is better to do with an EZ bar. Replacing the barbell with a panel prevents excessive flexion and extension of the wrists.
JM Press with a Swiss barbell will help diversify your triceps workout, and JM Press on the floor will help you achieve new record heights and bench heavy weights.
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