So then boyz, you want to increase you bench press? I’m going to tell you 3 simple ways to get the strength you’ve always wanted.
1: Exercise Your Rotator Cuffs!
The Rotator Cuffs are a vital muscle group to maximizing your bench, they are responsible for internal and external rotation of the humorous (arm bone) as well as flexion and extension of the arm and also abduction and adduction of the arm. All these movements are intrinsically involved in the actions of the bench press. If we take a moment to think of this and look at the bench press from an analytical perspective – we start the movement with the shoulder joint in the flexed position and also in the adducted position – as we move through the eccentric phase of the exercise we transfer from those positions into the extended and abducted position. Bear in mind that the muscles responsible for these actions are small in comparison to the prime movers of the bench press (pectorals major) and even the assisting muscles, triceps and anterior deltoid. Exercising your rotator cuff muscles will aid in the stabilization of the shoulder joint as a whole, minimizing the risk of injury while also allowing you to control more weight during the performance of the exercise.
2: Build Stronger Triceps!
Strong triceps are also a necessity for having a strong bench; after all they are solely responsible for the “lock out” phase of the movement. Increasing the strength of the triceps through similar movements is a great approach to take when trying to increase the amount of poundage being used. Close-grip bench pressing increases the range of motion of the elbow joint during the “lock out” phase maximizing the number of motor units being utilized to complete the movement, in other words, transferring the emphasis from the pectoral muscles to the triceps. The increased strength gained from performing this exercise transfers perfectly into the traditional bench press because of the biomechanical similarities between the two movements.
3: Try Eccentric Flat Bench Press!
Eccentric Flat Bench Press are of major benefit to your strength. A training partner is vital for this phase of your training programme. For eccentric training to be truly effective you must have a training partner who is at the same level of strength and is also switched on to your capabilities. Here a heavier weight will be used than when performing the regular exercise. As you lower the bar without aid and under complete control, your training partner should be ready to take up to 75% of the load when going through the concentric or positive phase of the movement, this method helps the muscles to adapt to the increased load in a more progressive manner, and the strength increase transfers to the conventional bench press in a relatively short period of time.
Thanks to muscle memory the body realizes that it has already adapted to using such weight, when performing the eccentric or negative phase the muscles brace in anticipation of the load and as they extend they create an elastic like effect, the tension created allows one to press the increased weight under a greater level of control, in other words you have gotten stronger.