Abs and Core Exercises

How to Master the Single-Arm Larson Press

Strengthen your core—and improve your bench—with the single-arm Larson press.

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How to Master the Single-Arm Larson Press
Edgar Artica

WHAT IT IS

Doing thousands of situps might help those abs pop, but you can also target your core while working other muscle groups, like your shoulders, arms, and chest. That’s where the single-arm Larson press comes in. It’s an efficient and effective exercise, and it’s also one hell of a workout.

WHY DO IT

“The bench press is a very technical move,” says Jennifer Romanelli, a personal trainer and co-owner of Trooper Fitness in New York City. “It requires shoulder strength, lat activation, a strong chest, and triceps extension.” You can address holes in your bench-press training with the Larson press. Since your legs are suspended, there’s zero leg drive, which creates instability and requires you to focus on your core to maintain a strong press. “The single-arm aspect forces you to correct one- sided weaknesses, and it serves as a diagnostic tool to see where your press fails.”

WHEN TO DO IT

“This is great to add into one of your supersets on chest day,” Romanelli says. “For example, follow it up with a set of dips. If you are a powerlifter, throw it into your speed day.”

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Grab on dumbbell, then lie down on the floor or on a bench.
  2. Lift your legs up, and get into a hollow-body position.
  3. Press the dumbbell with one arm. Tense the other arm at your side. This helps build tension and maintain balance.
  4. Aim for 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side. 


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