Smith machine JM press exercise
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Smith machine JM press

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Triceps Brachii
  • Synergists: Sternal (Lower) Pectoralis Major, Clavicular (Upper) Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Biceps Brachii (short head only)
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Place a flat bench under the bar of the Smith machine so that after you lie down the bar will be able to descend to your upper chest/throat/chin region.
  2. To prevent the bar from being able to injure your person by dropping too low, secure the safety pins of the Smith machine.
  3. Lie on your back (supine) on the bench and grasp the bar using a pronated (overhand) shoulder-width grip.
  4. Spread your legs and plant your feet flat on the floor for stability.
  5. Unlatch the bar from the rail by rotating it.


  1. Keeping your elbows high and approximately 45 degrees out to your sides, inhale as you carefully lower the bar towards your upper chest/throat/chin, stopping when your forearms make contact with your biceps.
  2. Exhale as you press the bar back up to the starting position.
  3. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  4. After you have finished, rotate the bar to latch it back on to the rail.

Comments and tips

  • Keeping your elbows high will emphasize elbow extension over horizontal shoulder flexion, thus ensuring greater involvement of your triceps brachii than your pectoralis major and anterior deltoid.
  • The Smith machine JM press requires practice. Start light and increase the amount of weight that you use gradually as you master proper form.
  • Don’t forget to use the safety pins.
  • This exercise is also known as the Smith machine Blakly press.
  • See also the barbell JM press.

Smith machine JM press videos

Here’s JM Blakly, the inventor of the JM press, explaining the history and proper form of the exercise.


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