Bench Press Upper Back Warmup Guide
Most people think that a good bench arch starts with your lower back but really a good arch starts with your upper back. If your upper back is constantly stiff and you’re struggling to get a good bench arch then this warmup is for you. Try it out on your next training day, most of us already have all the tools we need in our gym bags!
Peanut ball/ Soft Tissue Work
This warmup starts with some soft tissue work. My tool of choice is the peanut ball, if you’re not familiar it’s pretty much two lacrosse balls molded together. The shape should cradle your spine allowing you to hit the musculature around your spine. We want to find any spots that are tight and start to arch over the ball. I’ll work from around my traps down to my mid back covering the t spine.
The goal of the scap pulldowns is start to bring movement into our warmups. We want to start expand the range of motion of our scapula, to do this we let the band shrug our shoulders up and then with your scaps drag down and back. On each rep you want to focus on expanding the range of motion allowing the band to shrug you up a little more and pulling the band down as far as you can working slowly to strengthen that new range.
With this movement we want to wrap the band around our back and fully protract against the band and have it retract back. The key here is to mimic the bench arch position and try to work with that position in mind.
Big Ben Holds
This movement is a great bench press primer that helps you transition into your workout. You would setup a band at the bottom of the rack then get into a feet up bench press position. With your shoulders down and back you would press into the band. I do 10 second holds with each hand , a 10 second hold with both hands then a few reps with the band. This is great because we can actively twist the band like how we bend the bar on the bench press. This allows us to really lock down the “bar” with our lats and will be a great drill that lets you get your back maximally involved in the bench press.
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