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JM Press

The JM Press

The JM Press is a fantastic exercise used to promote overall tricep growth and strength through a full range of motion. It is a combination of the skullcrusher and close grip bench press. When performed properly, with standardised form and progressively overloaded over time, it is hard to think of a more effective tricep exercise to stimulate growth.

In this article, we’re going to explain exactly how to perform a JM press, how to programme it and why you should place it in your programme.

JM Press Exercise Tutorial

For those that just want to know how to perform the exercise, we’ll jump straight to that with a video on my YouTube channel which shows you exactly what to do and how to set up the exercise. Head over and take a look;

What are the benefits of the JM Press?

The JM Press is a great exercise that targets the triceps with precision across the full range of the tricep. By focusing on this key muscle group, you can expect to see improvements in your pressing strength and overall upper body development, in particular on the lockout elements of other presses.

Alongside this, the JM press features some crossover to the chest and shoulders due to the movement patterns in play, but places significantly less strain through the elbow and wrist joints than you would achieve with a skullcrusher or close grip bench press variant, making this, (if done correctly), a safer exercise to overload and a staple in any great upper body programme.

How to set up the exercise

First port of call, just watch the video above. But, here’s a step by step guide of how to set up a JM press.

  1. Select Equipment: We recommend a smith machine but you can also complete a JM press using a barbell or dumbbells.

  2. Grip: Grab the bar with an overhand narrow grip, slightly inside shoulder width

  3. Elbows and Forearms: To initiate the movement, keep your elbows under the bar, with forearms perpendicular to the ground.

  4. Engage Core: Tighten your core muscles for stability.

  5. The Rep: Lower the bar towards your neck, allowing your elbows to flare at 45 degree angles, when you reach the bottom position of full tricep extension just above your neck, pause, then contract your triceps hard and press back up explosively to the start position.

  6. Repeat

When programming the JM press, we predominantly use this in a low-mid rep range of 4-12 with a top set, back off set methodology with higher loads under less reps for the top set in a 4-8 range and a back off in the 10-12 range with lighter load. When you reach the top end of your rep range, increase the load.


Common Mistakes

Common mistakes when performing a JM Press include flaring elbows too wide (or not flaring them at all causing more strain through the wrists), incorrect bar path (people tend to still perform a skullcrusher action), using too much weight, incomplete range of motion as the exercise is bloody hard and rushing through reps.

The JM Press is an advanced exercise, there is risk involved, primarily due to the bar path and the weakness of the tricep in the fully lengthened position. This is an exercise that takes time getting used to and when you increase load, do so incrementally. 

If you’re new to training, I would opt for pushdown variants as opposed to a JM press, purely because it’s a hard movement to nail, and will do more damage than benefit if not performed correctly. 


How to programme the JM Press

Programming the JM press into your routine is quite simple. Use it as your primary tricep movement.

Whether that’s as a bench accessory movement, on your push or upper day, or a single tricep movement in a full body split. The JM press is your heavy go-to tricep exercise. 

Support it with tricep extensions and any exercise in the lengthened overhead position that biases the long head of the tricep and you’re good to go.

No more than once in a week, there’s plenty of tricep exercises to go around, max 0f 2-3 sets in total during the training week for this exercise. Volume wise, rep ranges as above, focus on good 2-3 second eccentrics, slight pause and a fast concentric and you’re good to go.

I wouldn’t place this before any press movement as you’ll find your lockouts will be really limited.

Hopefully that answers all questions you may have about the JM press, but send me an email if you have any questions. 

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