5 WAYS TO IMPROVE BENCH PRESS
Improve Bench Press number 5....Work Your Rotator Cuff Muscles
Improve bench press :Yes, this is completely unglamorous but it has the potential to add 20 to 30 pounds to your bench press in a matter of weeks. The reason? The Rotator Cuff muscles are the four small muscles that stabilize the humerus (your upper arm bone) in the shoulder socket.
Most people rarely, if EVER, work the Rotator Cuff but a couple of sets at the end of each workout can really make a HUGE difference in your bench press by helping to stabilize the shoulder joint.
The exercise that I use is one I call the "3 In 1 Rotator Cuff Raise." It's an exercise I came up with to work all 3 major planes of movement that the Rotator Cuff muscles operate in in one basic movement. It's very effective and very time-efficient. Two sets of 8 reps of this at the end of each workout is all you need.
Here is a quick rundown of the 3-in-1 Rotator Cuff Raise exercise.
Start in a standing position with your upper arm vertical, your forearm crossed in front horizontally and your shoulder internally rotated.
You will be holding the dumbell in front of your abdomen.
This is similar to the start position of what is called the Lying "L" Raise (a common rotator cuff exercise) where you lying on your side on a bench. In this exercise you are in a standing position.
During this entire movement, your should keep a constant 90 degree bend in your elbow.
Externally rotate and abduct your shoulder (raise your upper arm up and to the side while bringing the dumbell up and back).
What this is that while you raise your upper arm to a horizontal position, raise your forearm to a vertical position.
(improve bench press)
Improve Bench Press number 4...Get Those Shoulder Blades Squeezed Together
This goes back to trunk stability. If you're not consciously and religiously squeezing your shoulder blades together when you set yourself up on the bench press, you're instantly putting yourself at a disadvantage when ready to bench.
To do this, lie down on the bench and grab the bar. Lift your body up off the bench then try and touch your shoulder blades together behind your back. Get them tucked in as tight as possible. When you set yourself back down, you'll find you're not only more stable on the bench but your shoulders are in a stronger pressing position AND your torso is actually a little thicker (which means shorter range of motion)!
(improve your bench )
Improve Bench press number 3...Get Your Grip-Width Right
Where you grip the bar on flat bench can make or break your bench press before you even do a single rep. If you grip the bar in too close, you're putting more stress on the triceps, which limits your pushing power and increases the distance you have to press the bar. If you grip the bar too wide, you do decrease the distance the bar travels but you put excessive stress on the shoulder joints.
So what is the best place to grip the bar? This is best determined with no weight on the bar at all and with somebody watching your bench press form. Lie down and take the bar off the rack and lower the bar to your chest.
(improve your flat bench)
Have your spotter eyeball your forearms. At the bottom of the press, your forearms should be perfectly vertical. THAT will give you the greatest pressing power as you won't lose any power inside or outside.
It's the same concept as throwing a punch - if the bones of the arm aren't lined up properly when it connects, you lose a lot of power.
Improve Bench Press number 2...Breathe Properly
When you're doing a heavy bench press, trunk stabilization is much more important than when you're doing lighter, higher-rep training. You need a strong, solid base to push off of to really move the most weight.
When doing a heavy bench press for only a few reps, breathe in deeply on the way down, inflating your chest as much as possible (this has the dual effect of increasing the stability of your trunk AND decreasing the distance the bar must travel, which is a bonus!).
As you press the bar off your chest don't immediately blow out all your air in one big blow. That will destabilize the chest and weaken the base you're pushing from.
Think of it this way...it would be like trying to do a dumbell press on the Swiss Ball as somebody is letting the air out of it FAST!
As you start to press the weight, blow your air out through pursed lips. Basically, pretend you're blowing up a really thick balloon. You want to keep your breathing muscles in your rib cage absolutely solid as they very slowly force the air out.
This keeps your trunk solid and stabilized as you press, which is critical. The moment you lose that stability, you lose the lift.
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Improve Bench Press number 1...Do Partial-Range Training to Strengthen Your Connective Tissue
One big thing that's often missing in the training routine of a person looking to maximize strength in the bench press is a focus on connective tissue training. You can build huge, strong muscles but the movement is only as strong as the weakest link.
If that weakest link is connective tissue, best case is it will limit the amount of weight you can lift in the bench press. Worst case, you'll snap your tendons when your muscles move weights that your connective tissue can't handle!
So how do we strengthen connective tissue? That requires VERY heavy weight, the kind that can only be used with partial-range training like lockouts in the rack on bench press day.
For building up your connective tissue specifically for bench press, DEFINITELY work on rack lockouts and static holds with monster weight.
ONE EXTRA TIP TO HELP IMPROVE BENCH PRESS
Back training is important to your bench press. Your back makes up a BIG portion of that base that stabilizes your body. The wider the base, the bigger the structure it can support (i.e. more weight). A comparatively weak back will reduce the amount of weight you can bench.
The second point is thickness. The thicker your back, the shorter the distance the bar has to travel and the more weight you'll be able to lift in the bench press.
Look at how thick the torsos of the best bench pressers in the world are - they have huge barrel chests, thick backs and relatively short arms - their range of motion is probably about HALF of what a "normal" person's range of motion is with the bench press. The thicker your back, the shorter the range of motion and the more weight you'll be able to bench press.
Work on your bench press using a six to eight week bench press cycle where you will be focusing on your bench press twice per week. Include Partial-Range Training during this period. You should see your bench strength improve when you return back to your normal training cycle.
After you bench press cycle take a break from heavy duty flat bench for a few weeks to give your joints a little rest time. By time you return to your flat bench not only will your joints and muscles be well rested but you'll fell mighty fresh to break another bench record.
The most common type of bench press injury is front deltiod tear. Your shoulder muscle is weak compared with your chest, yet it supports a lot of weight during a bench press. The shoulder muscle is also the most susceptible to injury from not warming up. You will feel a sharp pain where your upper chest meets your shoulder muscle when you put your shoulder under load.
The other common bench press injury is a chest muscle tear. The mostly occurs on the outside of the chest muscle, and this is where you're most likely to feel pain. This injury will more than likely occur when your muscle in stretched out, which is when the bar is closest to your chest. Often the situation may become worse, as you will not be able to raise the bar.
Tricep injuries can also occur from the bench press movement, but these are rare. Triceps are used as secondary muscles, and are not under the same amount of pressure as the chest and front deltiods.
Common causes of benching injuries:
The common causes of a bench press injury are the following:
1.Not warming up enough or stretching before benching
2.Lifting weights are to heavy for you
4.Liftng too heavy or pushing yourself without a spotter
5.Not using collars on the bar
HAPPY BENCH PRESS
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