Are you Doing This on Your Bench Press

This is important for a big Bench Press

The bench press is the king of all gym lifts even if you aren’t a powerlifter. How much do you bench is first thing people ask when you tell them you lift weights.  It is by far the most popular and visible of the barbell lifts. Unfortunately most people mindlessly unpack the bar, let the weight drop onto their chest then push the weight up.

Try This

The  bench press is a a compound movement that involves nearly your entire body. We won’t go into all the details in this blog as to keep it focused on upper body mechanics.  Your lats and upper back musculature is just as important as your chest and triceps on the bench press.  Before you unpack the bar your shoulders should be retracted and depressed. You should feel the muscles between your shoulder blades engaged and your lats (underneath your armpits) fully activated. Once unpacked you should be actively pulling that bar down to your chest. If the bar just falls down onto your chest you will lose tightness and be forced to fight the weight up. 

Don’t mistake the lowering of the bar to a general eccentric lowering of the bar with your chest. This is an active recruitment of the back. Think about pulling your chest to the bar as you are lowering the weight. When executed correctly, you will feel your lats light up and the weight bearing on your back, not your chest. This tightness will allow you have maximal recruitment of your chest and tripes when executing the lift.

The best way to master this is to practice using your back on all your warm up sets. How you lift light weights is how you lift heavy weights. You are only as good as your practice.

In the video above we also have a warm up drill to help you activate the right muscles.

If you need help we strongly encourage finding a qualified strength coach. Don’t ask the random personal trainer at a Big box gym. If you are in Tucson, our team of coaches are happy to help.

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