Go to almost any gym on Monday evening and you'll see the majority of the male population lining up to use a particular piece of equipment.
Nothing fancy, just a padded bench and a rack to hold a barbell. But this exercise more than any other is how men measure their own and other men's strength.
In this article Jim Smith CSCS, author and renowned strength coach gives us a few quick tips on how to increase your bench.
Key Points to Remember
There are very important key points to remember when performing the bench press to ensure healthy shoulders and longevity. In fact, these key points apply to all the horizontal pressing movements in this manual.
1.Keep a tight grip on the bar at all times, a tighter grip equates to more tension in the lower arms, upper back and chest.
2.Keep your chest up (thoracic extension) throughout the movement.
3.Elbows should be tucked and end up at approximately 45 degrees from your side.
4.Unrack the weight and take a deep breath and hold it.
5.Row the weight down to your chest, like a bent over row. Do not relax and let the weight drop.
6.Back, hips, glutes and legs are tight and isometrically contracted.
7.When you touch your chest, drive your feet downward and reverse the movement.
If there is pain with this movement, regress back to neutral grip dumbbell bench pressing. This means that you take a set of dumbbells and do bench press with your hands facing each other. Sometimes this is referred to as a "hammer" grip or a neutral grip. If there still is pain my suggestion to you is to regress further to more of a basic, fundamental movement, such as a push-up.
Push-up are an incredible tool that most lifters don't do because they want to build a big bench and a big chest. So they spend hours in the gym on the bench press, with poor form wrecking their shoulders. Follow the video below to learn how to bench correctly, but don't forget to always include basic movements such as a push-up.
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