These best exercises to improve your bench press are tried and tested methods that can get your numbers climbing up.
The bench press is a great exercise to grow the chest muscles and it’s popular in gyms across the world. Not many other lifts have got bigger boasting rights than a heavy bench press.
If your bench press is weak, it’s probably because your chest muscles aren’t developed enough or you have poor technique. Both instances can be fixed.
Juggernaut Training Systems coach Chad Wesley Smith goes over the best exercises to improve your bench press.
Best Exercises to Improve your Bench Press
Feet Up Bench Press
If you’re struggling with the bench press you either have too much weight on the bar or need to develop the muscles in your chest. The Feet Up Bench Press is a great way to develop this strength as it eliminates the arch and leg drive and puts all the stress on your pecs.
Wide Grip Bench Press
The wide grip bench press has the same benefits as mentioned above, and can be sued through any phase of your training.
This is a great exercise to improve your bench press if you struggle in the middle range of the exercise.
To do it, bring the bar down quickly, stop it about an inch off of your chest, pause, and explode up from there. “This is going to eliminate the ability for you to impart leg drive into the bar and transfer that energy from your body into the bar,” says coach Wesley Smith.
This exercise will build stability and control in the bench press.
Close Grip Bench Press
The Close Grip Bench Press is one of the best exercises to improve your bench press if you’re struggling with the lockout.
Move your grip in by about two inches and perform your standard bench press, touching a little lower on your chest. Make sure you tuck your elbows in to maintain the bar over wrist, over elbows stacked position.
How to perform the bench press?
- Lie with your back flat on a bench and a (loaded) barbell on a rack by your head.
- Grab the barbell with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width.
- With your arms extended, plant your feet on the ground and place the bar over your chest.
- Bring the bar down to your chest while your shoulders and hips remain in contact with the bench.
- Make sure you’re not flaring your elbows out and your forearms remain vertical as your bring the bar down.
- Lightly touch the bar to your chest and push it back up.
- The rep finishes with you reach full arm extension at the top.
Read more: Biggest Bench Press Mistakes to Avoid
Bench press variations
Read more: 10 Best Bench Press Variations