5 Top Tips to maximise your bench press, from Owen Hubbard.
1) First of the 5 Top tips – Get onto your shoulders – You see many people attempting to shape up by squeezing their shoulder blades together and puffing their chest out. Yes, this is a great way to start developing a good base but beforehand if you can get up onto your shoulders as much as possible, your range of motion (ROM) is going to be shorter as well as your shoulder being retracted.
For any of you who have seen me bench press, then this is the reason why I get up onto my head for my set up. This allows me to dip my shoulder blades into the bench as I come down and utilise that shape throughout the whole of my back. Upper back tightness is much more important in the bench press than people give it credit.
2) Bring your feet back towards yourself – This is a tricky one, and a bit of trial and error for some, as your backside needs to stay down and feet need to be flat. But the further back you can get your feet while keeping in line with the rulebook, then the tighter the upper back, the tighter the glutes, the sturdier the base is to press from.
3) Squeeze that ass – Contracting your glutes will help with leg drive and add kilos onto your bench without developing any upper body strength what so ever.
The bench is something your bum needs to be touching, but not something you want to be pinned down and loose. Squeezing your glutes tight will help them perch on the bench and not sink in. A perch will keep that shape under pressure, drive through your legs at the press and not allowing you to fold in at the chest.
4) Squeeze and spread the bar – As the bar comes out to you try and keep the tightness as much as you can by squeezing the bar with your little fingers. Then as you start the movement think spread and bend the bar. This keeps the bar in the correct line and stops it from dropping down the chest towards your feet.
5) Being consistent – Ingraining your position. Whether its empty bar or 200kg, don’t take it for granted. Make sure you think of these cues for empty bar all the way up to 100%.
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