By Evan Midford, Website & Social Media Coordinator

There are a variety of ways to refine free-weight exercises in a strength program to make them more appropriate for younger or less experienced athletes.


Adjusting the degree of movement through the addition or removal of references and constraints is one of the most common strategies we use. It keeps athletes working in a safer range of motion and allows them to focus on a particular aspect of the movement.


Here’s an example of how we might regress the bench press or a horizontal push movement:

1) Barbell floor-press – The ground limits the range of motion of the movement, and the bar locks the hands in place, preventing the elbow from flexing/extending excessively and various portions of the lift.


2) Dumbbell floor-press – The ground still limits the range of motion of the movement, but using dumbbells requires the shoulder to have greater stability and control.


3) Alternating dumbbell floor-press – The ground continues to limit the range of motion, but the time under tension and degree of control/stability increases with holding positions for a longer period of time.