This great tip from Jeff at Athlean X will help you to boost your bench press.
Boost your Bench Press
“If you are looking to boost your bench press, then you need to start doing this back exercise. In this video, I am going to show you how you performing the inverted row is going to help increase your bench press.”
“To get a bigger bench press, you need to understand the importance of the back in the exercise itself. I know what you’re thinking; “how does the back relate to the bench press?” Well, engagement of the lats is key to benching because it allows you to stay tight and keep your shoulders back and down, which will allow you to press the weight safely and more efficiently.”
“So, how do you train the back in order to increase your bench press? One of the best accessory exercises was demonstrated by my good friend KC Mitchell, aka the 1 Legged Monster, is the lean back pulldown. But what if you don’t have a lat pulldown machine? Well, you’re in luck!”
Boost your Bench Press
“The back exercise that will help get you a bigger bench press is actually a simple bodyweight exercise that I have included in just about all of my ATHLEAN-X programs; the inverted row. However, it’s not just the exercise you need to be aware of, but it’s HOW you perform the exercise that matters the most. Why? Because if you perform the exercise the wrong way, then you are leaving all of its benefits on the table. However, with a slight tweak, not only do we make the exercise more effective, but it begins to have major carry over to other lifts; in this case, the bench press.”
“So, if we are going to perform the exercise correctly in order to increase how much you can bench press, we also need to understand where we can go wrong. The problem with the way that the inverted row is commonly performed is that people will often keep a hollow body as they bring themselves up to the bar. While you may be able to perform more reps doing the exercises this way, you’re not going to get nearly as much benefit as you could.”
“Like I said before, by performing the inverted row incorrectly (in this case, with a hollow body) you are missing out on the maximum potential gains you can get from the exercise as well as throwing away any carryover to increasing your bench press.”
“How do you perform the inverted row correctly that will have the most impact when you are benching? When you bring your body up towards the bar, you want to stick your chest out and essentially reach for the bar with your chest. This will allow for more engagement of the lats and establish a tight back throughout the movement. Now, while this is a great bench press accessory exercise, it’s important to understand why.”
“When you’re performing the bench press, you might just be allowing the bar to passively travel down to your chest before pressing the weight up. This, I find, is where you are leaving gains on the table. What I want you to do, instead, is to actively try to meet the bar on its descent. How do you do this? As the bar comes down to your chest, you want to bring your chest up to the bar, reaching with it just as you would on the inverted row.”
“Imagine that you are actually rowing yourself to the bar as it comes down towards your chest. This will allow you to further engage your lats and keep the tightness that is so important to the bench press. When you bring your chest to the bar, you are also driving your upper back and lats into the bench. This helps you to push the weight more efficiently, helping to boost your strength on the bench press.”
“So in order to bench press more weight, including the inverted row as an accessory lift in your programming is essential as it will help to reinforce the involvement of the lats and upper back in the bench press. With learning to row you chest up to the bar on its descent is essential for getting a stronger bench.”
“Next time you go to bench press, I want you to give this tip a try to see how much your bench improves.”
Video – Boost your Bench Press
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- bench press with spotter: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.