How To Do JM Press

JM Press (How To, Benefits, Muscles Worked)

With 20 years of experience as a college strength coach, I’ve helped many athletes become stronger and more powerful. One exercise that stands out is the JM Press, a unique mix between the bench press and skull crusher, known for effectively targeting the triceps.

This guide will provide you with a step-by-step walkthrough on how to perform the JM Press (named after JM Blakley), ensuring you do it safely while reaping the maximum benefits.

I’ll also explain the specific muscles worked during this exercise and explore alternative exercises to add variety to your workouts.

How To JM Press

Equipment Needed

  • Barbell
  • Bench
  • Rack (Bench Rack or Power Rack)

Muscles Worked

Triceps Muscle Anatomy
  • Triceps

How To

  • Setup:
    • Lie flat on a bench with your eyes directly under the bar.
    • Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Initial Position:
    • Unrack the bar and hold it straight over your chest with your arms fully extended.
    • Keep your shoulders pulled back and down to maintain a stable position.
  • Lowering the Bar:
    • Begin to lower the bar towards your chest as you would in a bench press.
    • As the bar descends, bend your elbows at a 45-degree angle from the body and do not allow the elbows to dip below the chest.
    • Stop the downward movement when the bar is about an inch above your chin/neck area. For many lifters, this will be the point at which the forearms contact the biceps.
  • Pressing the Bar:
    • Reverse the movement by extending your elbows and pressing the bar back to the starting position over your chest.
  • Repeat:
    • Perform the desired number of repetitions, maintaining a controlled pace and ensuring your form remains correct throughout.
  • Re-rack:
    • Once completed, carefully re-rack the bar.

Coaching Points

Here are two important coaching tips to consider when performing or instructing the JM Press:

Control the Eccentric Phase

Emphasize the importance of controlling the bar during the lowering phase (eccentric phase) of the movement. A slow, controlled descent helps to maintain the correct bar path, engage the triceps effectively, and minimize the risk of injury.

Mind the Elbow Positioning

Correct elbow positioning is crucial for targeting the triceps and preventing shoulder strain. Encourage athletes to keep their elbows from flaring out excessively by tucking them slightly towards the ribcage (roughly 45-degree angle) as they lower the bar.

This position should also help maintain a natural and comfortable path for the bar during both the descent and ascent phases of the JM Press.

Benefits of JM Press

The JM Press is a valuable exercise for those looking to enhance their tricep strength and overall upper body power. Here are some of the notable benefits of incorporating the JM Press into your workout routine:

Improved Bench Press Performance

By strengthening the triceps, which are crucial for the lockout phase of the bench press, the JM Press can contribute to improved performance in bench pressing. This is particularly beneficial for powerlifters and other strength athletes.

Increased Loading Potential

Unlike other tricep exercises like the skull crusher, the JM Press allows for heavier weights to be used, thus pushing the triceps to work harder. This increased loading potential can fast-track muscle gains in the triceps.

Limited Shoulder Strain

Due to its unique movement pattern, the JM Press places less strain on the shoulders as compared to other tricep or chest exercises, making it a safer alternative for individuals with shoulder issues.

JM Press Alternatives

If you’re looking to diversify your workouts or find alternatives to the JM Press, here are two exercises you may be able to use as a replacement.

Want more options? Check out my 11 favorite JM Press Alternatives.

Close-Grip Bench Press

Why: The Close-Grip Bench Press shares a similar muscle activation pattern with the JM Press, primarily targeting the triceps, while also engaging the chest and shoulders to a lesser extent. The narrower grip emphasizes the triceps more than a traditional bench press.

It’s a straightforward exercise that allows for heavy loading, much like the JM Press, which can lead to increased strength and muscle growth in the triceps.

Skull Crushers (Lying Tricep Extensions)

Skull Crushers Flexed Position

Why: Skull Crushers, like the JM Press, are an excellent exercise for isolating the triceps. They both involve a similar elbow extension movement which directly targets the triceps.

While Skull Crushers might not allow for as heavy loading as the JM Press, they still provide a great stimulus for tricep growth and can be a more joint-friendly option for some individuals.

Get Started Today!
Horton Barbell Logo 3

Online Strength Programs

  • 1-on-1 Online Coaching
  • Sports Performance Programs for Football, Basketball, Soccer & More
  • Programs for Former Athletes (Legends) Who Still Want to Train Like Athletes
  • Programs for Adults Who Want to Get Healthy (and look great at the beach!)
  • Use Code “HB10” to Get 10% Off Today

More Links and Info

You can find more complete exercise guides, just like this one, in my Exercise Library. In fact, you’ll find over 40 exercises in the Arm Farm (biceps, triceps and forearms) section alone.

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *