“How much do you bench?”. I’m sure you often get that question. The Bench Press is the most performed exercise in the average gym. No wonder many want to increase their Bench Press.
If you’re a football player or if you just want to be the strongest at your gym, you need a big Bench Press. Here are 5 ways to increase your Bench Press.
1. Improve your Technique. Solid Bench Press technique will help you lift more weight & avoid injury. Follow these tips:
- Bar Close to Wrists. Grab the bar close to your wrists, not close to your fingers. Read this article on correct Bench Press grip.
- Squeeze the Bar. Squeeze the bar hard so it doesn’t move. Try to break the bar apart like breaking spaghetti. This activates your triceps more.
- Tighten Your Upper-back. Pull your shoulder-blades together & keep them tight. This gives your body a solid base to press from.
- Drive Into the Bench. Use your legs to drive yourself into the bench. This puts pressure on your upper-back & traps, building a solid base.
- Push in a Straight Line. Keep the bar above your elbows, don’t press it to your face. Fix a point on the ceiling where you want the bar to go.
- Keep Your Elbows Tucked. The only way you can push the bar in a straight line. It also makes using your lats easier.
2. Strengthen Back & Arms. You need a solid base to Bench Press from as well as strong arms to bring the bar down & back up. Strengthen:
- Upper-back & Lats. Barbell Rows work your upper-back and lats hard. They’re also the exact opposite movement of the Bench Press.
- Triceps. Lockout the weight. Close Grip bench press, Dips, Floor Press, JM Press, etc will strengthen your triceps.
- Biceps. The brachialis acts as a stabilizer in the Bench Press. Hammer Curls will strengthen this muscle.
3. Lift Fast. Lifting slow will never make you strong. Lift fast. The faster you are, the more weight you can Bench Press. You can add bands and/or chains to train on speed specifically if you want.
4. Eat More. The bigger your muscles, the stronger you are. Eat at least your body-weight in lbs x 18 calories. Get 1g/lbs protein daily from meat, poultry, fish, eggs & whey. Read this article on how to build muscle.
5. Avoid Injuries. Shoulder injuries are common with the Bench Press. If you eat right & train hard, they’re the only thing that can prevent you to increase your Bench Press. Some tips:
- Balance. Make sure you train the opposite movement to prevent muscle imbalances. Row as often as you Bench Press.
- Proper Technique. Don’t let your shoulders roll forward, don’t flare your elbows, don’t let your wrists roll backwards, don’t use a false grip, etc.
- Posture. Winging shoulder-blades will get you shoulder injuries sooner or later. Overhead Squats, shoulder dislocations, scap push ups, face pulls will help.