Building A Bigger Bench Press Pt.1
So now you have read “Bench Pressing 101” you should have a general understanding of proper technique. Now, it’s time to build that BENCH UP!
If we are wanting to build our bench up I believe it is important that we start thinking of the bench press as a back exercise rather than a chest exercise. This is because the back is the “glue” to keeping the bench press all together.
I have a couple exercises that have tremendously helped me keep my back tight.
1. Tricep Pushout
a. This exercise will create tricep and lat strength through your Teres Major and Teres Minor. These are key for keeping your lats tight, which is where I see most people struggle.
i. Wrap a single red mini band around an above stationary object.
ii. Grab band and bring your elbows to the sides of your ribs
iii. While keeping your elbows tucked, perform a normal tricep pushdown.
iv. When you fully extend your arms, it is key to then pull the band apart isolating the Teres major and minor (notice your end motion may resemble your bench lockout position).
2. Banded Scap Retraction
a. Much as the Tricep Pushout’s help strengthen your upper lats, using bands to perform Banded Scap Retraction help strengthen your lower lats, rear delts, and scap stability. This will translate directly to stabilization during the bench press under heavy weights.
i. Wrap two Red mini bands at the same height
ii. Grab right band with left hand, and left band with right hand. When you pull them at a diagonal angle, the bands will be crossed.
iii. Que: Your arms should create an upside down “V” so you isolate your lower lats and rear delts fully.
Add these two exercises to your next bench day routine and I promise you will notice the strength in your back and the ability to get tighter while benching.
I would suggest supersetting these two exercises in-between sets of bench or as a warm up before benching.
● Tricep Pushout: 5 Sets x 15 Reps
● Banded Scap Retraction: 5 Sets x 15 Reps
*To make these exercises harder, use stronger bands or pause during each rep.
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