The Benefits of the Larsen Press

Bench press is one of the most popular chest exercises and is renowned for improving overall chest size and strength, and it's great for your triceps and shoulders too.

With that being said, maybe you're getting bored of doing the regular bench press, in which case, you might want to try the Larsen press.

The Larsen press is a specific bench press variation that increases the amount of stress being put on your upper body, increasing muscle building benefits.


What is the Larsen Press?

Larsen Press

The Larsen press is a bench press variation where you have your legs pointed straight out. Instead of having both of your feet planted firmly on the floor with your knees bent at a 90° angle, such as with a regular bench press, here you have your legs pointed straight outwards, and your feet you're not touching the ground.

This is all about increasing the amount of pressure and weight that your upper body has to handle, while decreasing stability.

Removing your legs from the equation means that you can't use your feet to stabilize, and that makes it much harder on your upper body.

Related Post: What Muscles Does Incline Bench Press Work?


What Are The Benefits of Larsen Press?

You might be wondering why you would ever do the Larsen press and take your feet off the ground when the regular bench press works so well.

As mentioned above, the whole point of the Larsen press is to reduce the amount of stability and control that you have during the bench press.

When you do a regular bench press, your feet help to keep you stable. This in turn allows you to use much more force and lift more weight.

However, because you're much less stable without your feet on the ground during the Larsen press, it forces you to balance a lot more. The lower level of stability experienced during this exercise means that you can also exert a bit less force and lift less.

There is no doubt about the fact that the Larsen press is more difficult than the regular bench press, and is therefore excellent not only for improving your overall balance and stability, but for really working those chest muscles to their fullest.

Who Should Try the Larsen Press

Who Should Try the Larsen Press

If you're wondering whether or not the Larsen press is right for you, there are two main reasons to give it a try.

First and foremost, if you are suffering from any kind of lower body or leg injury, then the Larsen press might be right for you.

Because you aren't using your feet, knees, or legs during the exercise, it prevents you from putting any strain on your lower body. Therefore, if you have hip, knee, or leg issues in general, it's a good bench press variation to try.

The other reason to try the Larsen press is to remove that leg drive as we've been talking about. T

he simple fact is that if you remove the leg drive from the equation, you are forced to rely more on the stability and strength of your upper body.

In turn, this means that you'll end up developing your chest and upper body in general much quicker than with a regular bench press.

So, if you think that you have plateaued with your regular bench press, stepping up the difficulty level by doing the Larsen press is your best bet.

Related Post: Our Top 7 Cable Chest Exercises


How to do the Larsen Press

To finish things off, let's give you a quick tutorial on exactly how to do the Larsen press.

  1. Lay down on a flat bench with the barbell already set up. Choose a relatively light weight to begin, especially if this is your first time doing the Larsen press.
  2. When laying down, hold your legs together and point your toes forwards. Make sure that your legs are in line with the rest of your body. Make sure that your shoulders are back and that your eyes are about in line with the barbell.
  3. Using a regular bench press grip, hold the barbell, unrack it, and keep your shoulders pinned down during this whole time.
  4. Slowly lower the bar down to the middle of your chest in a controlled manner, touch your chest, and then force it back up as powerfully as you can.
  5. Try to aim for at least 10 repetitions and three sets at a minimum.
Author's Photo

William Parrett

Will, co-founder of Home Gym Supply, launched the company in 2019 after 15-years in the fitness industry. His expertise stems not only from his professional background but also from his athletic pursuits. A former competitor in the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) and a competitive rugby player, Will has always been dedicated to health and fitness.