French bench press

Despite its name, the French bench press is not at all a bench press in the sense of the word we are used to. In this exercise, the emphasis is on extending the arms using relatively small weights, which determines its main effects, which are shaping the lower triceps, and then increasing its size. Here, the lateral and middle bundles work most intensively, which determines the purpose of using the exercise in bodybuilding - drawing muscle fibers, their detailing and maximum separation.

Execution technique

  1. Lie down on a horizontal bench and firmly rest your feet on the floor. Take straight arms up, they should be perpendicular to the floor, and ask your partner to give you a barbell.
  2. It is better to take a bar with an EZ bar, or if it is not in your arsenal, then it’s not a sin to perform the exercise with a simple bar with a direct bar.
  3. Grab the bar with the upper grip and push the bar up. Align your arms completely with the barbell and take them back (in the direction towards the crown) 40-50 ° from the vertical. This is the starting position.
  4. Take a deep breath and hold your breath. Keeping the upper part of the arms (from shoulder to elbow) locked, slowly bend your elbows and lower the bar behind your head to the back of the head. From below, the angle in the elbow joint should be equal to 90 °.
  5. When reaching the bottom point, do not stop moving! Quickly change the course of movement and, extending the elbows, return the barbell to its original position. When lifting the barbell, do not exhale or stretch your elbows forward. Part of the arms from the elbow and above should remain fixed until the end of the set.
  6. As soon as you straighten your arms as much as possible, pause for a couple of seconds, exhale and strain the triceps with an additional effort.


  1. Do not take too much weight to perform this exercise, it is better to follow the correct technique with less weight than not the right one with more weight, which will give less muscle contraction. If the bar is very heavy, you will not be able to hold it on level hands at an angle of 40-50 ° to the vertical and you will elbows pull the elbows forward. And this significantly reduces the reduction in triceps.
  2. Fastening in the upper part of the hands in an inclination at an angle of 40-50 ° to the vertical is the main point of the exercise.
  3. Straighten your upper arms as much as possible. Otherwise, you will not reach the maximum load on the triceps.
  4. Although the French bench press includes all three triceps heads, nevertheless, the center of load is precisely on the long head of the muscle. It is located on the back of the hand and stands out perfectly if you look at the hand from the side.
  5. Feet are not allowed on the bench. They should rest firmly on the floor. Otherwise, you risk losing balance and injury.


Intended: For everyone, from beginners to professionals.

When: At the beginning of a workout on the triceps muscles. But first, before the French bench press, do the bench press with a narrow grip or push-ups. After the French bench press, do the bench presses, straightening the elbows with weights from behind the head and straightening the arms with weights in the slope.

How much: 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Sport briefing: In weightlifting, the French bench press is needed for general improvement of the triceps, but first of all for maximum load on its long head to emphasize and lengthen its bottom. The wider this triceps head, the more powerful the top of the arm looks when viewed from the side.

The extension of the arm raised at the elbow joint by the triceps is the main movement in various sports: basketball (throwing the ball from behind the head), volleyball (ball passing, athletics (pole vaulting), martial arts (strikes) edge of the hands from top to bottom).