Guillotine Press: How To And Benefits

If you’re wondering how to build a solid set of pecs and a bigger chest, the guillotine press could be a great exercise to add to your training protocol. The guillotine press effectively isolates the upper pecs to build a more well-rounded physique. Keep reading as we get into the details of how to guillotine press and the benefits of this strength training movement, so you can ramp up your chest day training split.

What Is Guillotine Press 

The guillotine press is similar to the traditional barbell bench press, however as opposed to positioning the barbell directly over or just under the nipple line, the guillotine press, is positioned higher with the barbell over the clavicles, instead of the chest.

Now the guillotine press can be executed with a barbell on a bench, or the smith machine. This movement is a bit advanced, and can be prone to injury, therefore, if you do feel more strain, or discomfort in the shoulders, joints, or pecs, refrain from using this movement.

Guillotine Press Muscles Worked

Your chest consists of four major muscle groups the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, and subclavius. The pectoral muscles connect the upper extremities to the anterior (front) and lateral (side) walls. These muscles are responsible for a wide range of functions, including flexion, adduction, and internal rotation of the humerus, stabilization of the scapula, as well as elevating and depressing the bones of the thorax [R].

The guillotine press will specifically emphasize and target the clavicular head and the pectoralis minor, which is located on the upper chest.

Guillotine Press Benefits

1. Bigger Chest

The guillotine press isolates the upper chest, which can directly help build a bigger and better physique, focusing on that targeted muscle group. Splitting your chest day into segments, (upper, mid, and lower) chest, can help by focusing on building each individual part of your chest for a well-defined physique. If aesthetics are your goal, guillotine press can benefit your overall body composition. A small change in positioning and grip, with any strength training movement is key to target different muscle groups and segments.

2. More Strength

With any resistance training exercise, you’ll gain more strength. Performed with moderate to high rep ranges and standard sets you can significantly build more upper body strength, in the chest as well as the triceps.

3. Burns Body Fat

Resistance training has significant benefits on bone density, metabolic rate, and the ability to burn more body fat. Building more muscle mass, will jump start your metabolism. More muscle mass on your frame, will help burn more calories at rest, contributing to a leaner aesthetic and better body composition, burning more body fat and gaining more muscle mass.

How To Guillotine Press

  • Using a barbell, lie on the bench with your eyes directly under the bar. Plant your feet firmly on the floor. Grip the bar with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • Lift your chest up toward the bar, arch your lower back slightly, and pull your shoulders down and back.
  • Drive your feet into the floor and brace your core.
  • Unrack the bar and hold it over your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbows and lower the bar down front of your neck. Descend until the bar is about one inch above your throat. Your elbows should be flared outward and roughly level with your shoulders.
  • Press the weight back up and repeat for the prescribed number of reps.

Guillotine Press: Takeaway

Building your upper chest and pecs, will help with better body definition and strength. Traditional movements, such as incline bench, incline dumbbell bench, and using cables are all great exercises to build this segment of your chest, but if you’re looking for a new strength training movement to add to your arsenal of lifts, the guillotine press can be a great way to target the upper chest.

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