Top Bench Tips

Top Bench Tips

Patience on the Unrack
This is a tip that I cannot stress enough. This is one of the worst ways to “fail” a bench press at a meet by jumping the gun and failing to wait for the start command. Aside from that if you rush the takeout you miss the opportunity to load into your lats. As the weights get heavier there’s also going to be some momentum that the bar picks up between the rack and your start position. The heavier it gets the worse it gets. This is the easiest tip to implement, hold the start position of your bench press load into your lats and then start the movement.
Whether there’s an empty bar, the days working sets or a meet environment, I bring the same intensity to my bench setup. Intensity is everything, you can find different ways to incorporate that into your session. (Working on position, tightness, setup, etc)Whether it’s bringing more to the setup or being aggressive on the takeout the practice with extra intensity is going to pay dividends when you do end up benching heavier.
Control Your Breathing
Breathing and bracing on the bench press works a bit differently than on the squat/deadlift. Since there’s minimal load on your spine this is probably one of the most overlooked aspects that can really help you improve. We want to be able to take a big breath inflating our touch point and brace. This helps cut some range on the press. Additionally if you’re searching for maximum poundage you should hold the breath for the entire rep.
Think Explosive
This tip goes hand in hand with intensity. Whether it's warmups or max effort we want to focus on moving the bar as fast as we can control. The added focus on being explosive in the warmups is going be valuable practice one the weight gets heavier. Each time you setup and go through a warmup is another valuable opportunity to practice and get better at the movement. If you took the same explosiveness and intensity to your warmups that you did with your top sets you'll be able to make lasting and beneficial change to your bench press. Practice explosive be explosive.
Stay Under the Weight
The bench press is a game of inches. You're going to be the strongest in a certain groove. Getting good alignment with your wrists and elbows is essential to staying in that groove. Once you get out of the groove it can be hard if not impossible to get it back and that could cost you a meet attempt. Keeping good alignment will give you your best chance at finishing the lift!
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