How much do you bench ? This is one of the most asked questions among men, and rightfully so. It expresses great upper body strength. The problem is it is rarely done correctly. Remember, I said it expresses great upper body strength. It has to be looked at as a movement and not a chest exercise.
If you truly wish to have a big bench press you need to learn optimal technique. Great technique allows you to express your strength, while saving your joints. People sacrifice technique to compromise for weaknesses (usually unconsciously) . Don't worry , your chest will get bigger too.
Today starts part 1 of a series on owning the bench press. In today's post, we will talk about the set-up and lift-off. This will give us a foundation to execute the lift. In the post to follow, we will talk about push-ups ,bar stabilization, bar path, and how to clean up weaknesses. We will also talk about what assistance lifts have carry-over to the bench press and what is a waste of time. As much as this will put you on right path to a bigger press, nothing beats being trained by a great coach. They can spot weaknesses and bring awareness to problems that you cannot feel or see. The trainer will also put you on a proper program and progression scheme. The video below will instruct you on how to set-up and lift-off.
click here for video : Bench press set-up and lift-off
Main points for SET-UP - The set-up is about tension and putting your scapular in an optimal postion to move. Tension, as we know from my previous post(THE TRUTH ABOUT TONE ! NEW WEEKLY FITNESS FACTS!) is strength.
1. DRIVE FEET UNDER BENCH - keep driving heels to the floor, even know they will be off the floor.
2. KEEP YOUR GLUTES TIGHT AND PUSH YOUR POCKETS OUT - Your glutes must stay on the bench . Your pockets will give you a wide base and resist rotation.
3. PACK YOUR SHOULDERS UNDER YOU AND SPREAD YOUR ARMPITS WIDE - this will allow you to use your posterior muscles (upper and lower traps,lats) to decelarate the weight and create a launch pad of strength. Think of strings to a bow and arrow. The more tension on the pull, the more force and accuracy on the shot. If you do not do this , you are using your shoulders as brakes. Brakes wear out !!!
4. PULL THE BAR OVER THE BOTTOM OF YOUR CHEST. - If you do not pull the bar over your chest , you will lose your set-up .
Main points for the LIFT-OFF - Think of yourself as the quarterback handing off to the running-back.
1 . SLIDE THE BAR OUT - if you lift the bar off the rack, it will lead to a poor hand-off. The lifter will have to loose energy in corralling the weight.
2. KEEP YOUR BODY AND HEAD OVER THE BAR- YOU ARE NOW A MOVING RACK . DO NOT LEAN BACK AS THE BAR GOES FORWARD.
WE HAVE A STRENGTH CAMP CLASS TUESDAYS AND THURDAYS AT 11:00 AM AND 8 P.M . WE ALSO HAVE ONE MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS AT 7 P.M . ASK THE FRONT DESK FOR YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SESSSION IF YOUR SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR BENCH.