3 ways to boost your bench press
One of the standard exercises that features in many people’s workouts, the bench press is a key move for many training goals. If you’ve plateaued with your weight or reps, try these tips out to get to the next level...
1. Prime yourself
By stimulating your nervous system to activate as many muscle fibres as possible you can truly know your body is giving it’s all during the exercise. As part of your warm up, load the bar with a weight heavier than your 1 rep max. Make sure you’ve got a spotter to help you take the weight of the bar and perform 2-3 partial repetitions before racking it back up. Now when you drop down to the lighter weight you’re using for your main sets, the extra fibres you’ve switched on will make it seem that slight bit easier.
2. Pull the bar apart
Many strength coaches advocate this technique to create tension in your upper back and shoulders which provides stability, aswell as increase activation in your triceps. As you push the bar upwards, imagine you’re trying to rip it apart so you feel your shoulder blades moving toward each other.
3. Don’t just train your chest
The specificity principle would suggest that to get better at bench press you should do bench press. That’s certainly true, but by creating a strong body overall you will maximise your progress. Developing strength and stability in the back and legs particularly will provide a firm foundation from which to produce force. As with all training programmes, balance is vital for peak performance and injury prevention.