2 Minute Tuesday… a short blog post that you can read in under 2 minutes that can instantly help get you better results in the gym.
Odds are if you are a bloke and you’ve trained in the gym you have done the bench press or some bench variation. I myself have been doing it for 15 years or so and in the last year I have learnt more about how to get the most out of this horizontal pressing exercise than I had in the previous 14.
1) Set up with your eyes in line with the barbell. Surprising how many people forget this one and they end up too far back trying to dodge the hooks/rig with every rep.
2) Squeeze your shoulder blades and drive your chest up to the bar. This is why upper back strength allows for a safer and more efficient set up.
3) Think of the bench as a full body movement. Squeeze your ass, breathe and brace your abs and drive your feet in to the floor. This and your upper back create a stable base for the lift.
4) Get that bar touching the chest if you have healthy shoulders. More range of motion = greater muscle activation. Ain’t nobody got time for half reps.
5) An arch in your low back is also totally fine. The lumbar spine already has a natural curve to it.
6) You want to try to ‘drive your elbows together’ as you’re pressing off your chest. This will also create greater activation of the pec fibres as the pecs are what’s known as internal rotators.
I hope these tips helped you as much as they helped me. It took me a very long time as you can see to learn all of this so I wouldn’t expect you to nail all of these right away. Perhaps start with one each session and try to build on it and by the end of it bobs your uncle – consider your bench press PIMPED!
If you have any questions feel free to shoot them through to firstname.lastname@example.org