Guillotine Press

You’ve probably heard about various weightlifting exercises, but have you come across the “Guillotine Press”? It’s an excellent chest exercise that you should totally add to your fitness routine. Within the next few moments, you’ll be introduced to its amazing benefits, the exact muscles it targets, and a step-by-step guide to get it right even if you’re a complete newbie! Plus, some tips to make your Guillotine Press journey smoother. Ready to pump those muscles?

What is the Guillotine Press?

Hey there, fitness enthusiast! Let’s dive right into it. The Guillotine Press is a variation of the bench press, where you bring the barbell down to your neck rather than your chest. Sounds intense? Well, it’s because it is. But with great intensity comes even greater results.

  1. Why should you do it? The Guillotine Press is known to target the upper part of your chest more effectively than some other exercises. Think of those chiseled upper pecs you’ve been yearning for!
  2. Which muscles does it work on? While the Guillotine Press primarily targets your pectoralis major (that’s your chest muscles), it also engages the deltoids, triceps, and serratus anterior muscles. That’s a solid upper body workout right there!

How to Perform the Guillotine Press: A Beginner’s Guide

Alright, brace yourself, because we’re about to dive deep into the Guillotine Press. Remember, start light and progress as you get comfortable.

  1. Set Up Your Station: Begin with a flat bench and a barbell. Remember, no weights yet if you’re just starting out.
  2. Positioning: Lie flat on the bench with your eyes right under the bar. This positioning is essential for the Guillotine Press.
  3. Grip: Grab the bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Your palms should be facing away from you.
  4. Lifting off: Arch your back slightly, engage your core, push through your feet, and lift the bar off the stand.
  5. Lowering the Bar: Breathe in, and slowly bring the bar down towards your neck. Your elbows should be flared out to the side.
  6. Pressing Up: Once the bar is close to your neck (but not touching it!), press the bar back up while exhaling.
  7. Repeats: Perform the desired number of repetitions, and always rack the bar back safely.

Pump Up Your Guillotine Press: Tips and Tricks

Let’s make your Guillotine Press journey a tad bit easier with these:

  1. Safety First: Always have a spotter, especially if you’re new to the Guillotine Press. Better safe than sorry!
  2. Start Small: If it’s your first time, use just the barbell to get a feel of the motion.
  3. Mind Your Neck: While it’s called the Guillotine Press, you really don’t want the bar to touch your neck. Close, but not too close.
  4. Engage Your Core: This isn’t just a chest workout. Engage your core for stability and added strength.
  5. Stay Consistent: Like any exercise, consistency is the key. Incorporate the Guillotine Press into your routine for the best results.


  1. What’s the main difference between the regular bench press and the Guillotine Press?
    • The primary difference is the bar path. In the Guillotine Press, the bar is lowered to the neck, whereas in a traditional bench press, it’s lowered to the chest.
  2. Is the Guillotine Press safe?
    • With proper form and technique, yes. But always have a spotter, especially if you’re lifting heavy weights.
  3. How often should I incorporate the Guillotine Press into my routine?
    • It depends on your goals, but once or twice a week is a good start.
  4. Can beginners try the Guillotine Press?
    • Absolutely! Just start with lighter weights and perfect your form before adding more weight.
  5. Why is it called the Guillotine Press?
    • Mainly because of the bar path towards the neck. But remember, the bar should never actually touch your neck!
  6. Do I need any special equipment for the Guillotine Press?
    • A standard flat bench and a barbell are all you need to get started.
  7. Which part of the chest does the Guillotine Press target the most?
    • It especially targets the upper part of your chest or the upper pectoralis major.
  8. Is it okay to incorporate both bench press and Guillotine Press in one session?
    • Yes, they can complement each other. However, listen to your body and ensure you’re not overworking.
  9. I felt a strain in my shoulders. Am I doing something wrong?
    • Ensure your form is correct and that you’re not flaring your elbows out too much. Also, it might be a good idea to reduce the weight until you’re more comfortable.
  10. Can I use dumbbells for the Guillotine Press?
  • Yes, you can. The movement remains the same; just ensure your form is on point.

Remember, AH7 is here to guide and support your fitness journey. Keep pushing, and soon you’ll see those results!

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