One of the most multi-purpose power movements used in sports is pushing.
Think of the linemen in the trenches of a college football game, paving the path for their running back… there is an immense amount of upper body strength needed to manhandle another 260 lb. athlete across the field.
Consider even a tennis or lacrosse player. In order to generate enough power in their serves, returns, and shots on goal they must have enough force generated from their chest to move their arm across the body and make contact with the tennis ball or release the lacrosse ball.
The max bench press is a measure of strength, power, and performance on the field and in a match. It is more than just a number that you brag about with your buddies.
So let’s make sure you are pressing the maximum amount of weight you can for your one rep max, here’s how you can become stronger and press with more force in just one month of practice.
1) When performing the bench press, tuck your elbows into your side so you will not only be using your chest and shoulders during the movement, but also the muscle fibers in your triceps. So be sure to practice your bench press and add some additional triceps exercises into your routine such as the close-grip bench press and the skull crusher.
2) Make sure feet are planted firmly in the ground and press through your feet. Also be sure to tense your upper back on the bench press pad. Before lifting the bar off of the rack with your spotter, be sure to have your feet planted, body evenly positioned on the bench press, and upper back pressed into the bench pad. This will allow you to efficiently move the bar using all of the energy in your body properly.
3) Push the bar straight up and back. This will make for a shorter range of motion. You want to make the bar travel as short a distance as possible from your chest to the top of the bench press rack.
4) Practice makes perfect! Be sure to practice your bench press movement 2-3 times per week. Each workout does not need to be overly taxing on your body. Your goal is to practice the movement enough so you can comfortably move the bar with maximum efficiency. Train your body to function with proper bench press mechanics.
5) Identify your weaknesses and practice those more. This one is simple. Following the above training tips, single out what your weaknesses are and spend extra time working on those. Are your triceps lacking strength? Are you having trouble keeping your feet on the floor throughout your pressing movement? Spend more focused time and effort on improving these techniques.
There it is! Train with purpose, train for performance. Adding these new techniques to your bench press will greatly improve your max strength, your in-game performance and power output.
Need more help with your bench press? Comment below and I will gladly assist you with your training.