Tate press

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Triceps Brachii
  • Synergists: Upper (Clavicular) Pectoralis Major, Lower (Sternal) Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Sit on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand and rest one dumbbell on each knee.
  2. As you lie back on the bench, kick the dumbbells up into position over your chest, one at a time. Your forearms should be pronated (palms facing forward), and the sides of the dumbbells should be close together or touching.
  3. Spread your legs and plant your feet flat on the floor.


  1. Inhale as you flex your elbows and slowly lower the dumbbells down toward your chest.
  2. Hold the dumbbells over your chest for a count of two. Do not allow the dumbbells to rest on your chest.
  3. Exhale as you flex your elbows and press the dumbbells back up to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep the movement of your upper arms to a minimum.
  • Do not lock out your elbows at the top of the movement.
  • Keep the dumbbells either close together or in contact with each other throughout the repetitions. Keeping them in contact can help you to maintain stability.
  • When you have finished the Tate press, do not drop the dumbbells down by your sides. Instead, raise your knees and bring the dumbbells down onto your thighs. The weight of the dumbbells will help you to sit up.
  • The Tate press was popularized by strength coach and competitive powerlifter Dave Tate.
  • The Tate press works the same muscles as the bench press, although it targets the triceps brachii instead of the pectoralis major. When you perform a bench press, your triceps get more involved at the top of the press. If you struggle at the top of the press, it means that your triceps need improvement. The Tate press is effective at improving the performance of your triceps during the bench press, which makes it popular amongst powerlifters.
  • Since your elbows are kept high, unlike the bench press, you can perform the Tate press on the floor. See second video.
  • Also known as the elbows-out triceps extension.


Tate press on a bench

Tate press on the floor


Click here to post a comment
    • Hi, Street.

      ‘Tate’ is the name of the person who popularized this exercise. As I explain in the Comments and tips section, the Tate press was popularized by strength coach and competitive powerlifter Dave Tate.


  • Hi, how come is this exercise categorized as a compound exercise in this website? This exercise basically has the same movement as an overhead dumbbell triceps extension for example.

    • Hi, Joe.

      Good question!

      In the overhead triceps extension, all movement is isolated to the elbow, making it an isolation exercise. In the dumbbell Tate press, there is also movement (horizontal flexion) in the shoulder, which activates the chest and anterior delts. As there’s movement in two joints, I classified it as a compound exercise.

      I do accept, however, that when performed properly, the movement in the shoulders is minimal. In fact, I even request in the comments section that movement of the upper arms be kept to a minimum so as to better isolate elbow extension.



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