Last Updated on April 16, 2023 by Andrew Pirie
How to Improve your Bench Press Form?
A straightforward tip that most people don’t really consider: bench more often.
How to improve your bench press has a lot of components,
- from grip
- bar path
There’s a lot of technique that you need to dial in to press safely and efficiently.
If you only bench once a week, you’re effectively putting a few extra days of de-training into your bench program.
It takes a while to really get into the groove of benching, and it’s tough to start from basics once a week.
Most strong benchers will program the lift or some variation at 2 to 3 sessions per week.
So roughly, every other day, they’re practicing the technical qualities of the lift in addition to the strength and hypertrophy goals.
It might mean they do much less volume per session to recover in time to press again in two days, but in most cases, this leads to progressively more volume over time and a much more effective technique.
From Theo Brenner-Roach, Fitness Blogger & Personal Trainer at www.liftlearngrow.com
How to Increase Your Bench Press, Max?
There is probably the world’s favorite exercise; many tried and tested ways to increase your bench press.
Here are 11 ways on How to improve your bench press
How to improve your bench press Don’t Stretch Before You Lift
Research (1) shows that static stretching before weight lifting causes a significant reduction in strength, even in stretches lasting as little as 45 seconds or less.
Another study (2) found static stretching before working out decreased strength in lower and upper body exercises in trained and untrained men.
Next time you workout, forego the stretching until after you workout if you want to be at your strongest.
Visualize To Get In The Right Frame Of Mind
Using tools like visualization where you picture yourself completing the lift successfully can improve strength training performance (3).
Also, an extensive review of the research (4) concluded that;
“mental practice has a positive and significant effect on performance.”
Further research (5) shows that negative imagery has been shown to deteriorate performance whilst consistent positive imagery has shown to improve performance, thus demonstrating the importance of removing thoughts of not completing the lift or seeing yourself narrowly missing completion.
Position Yourself Correctly in Bech Press Form
- Position yourself on the bench so that your eyes are beneath the bar
- Anchor yourself to the bench by fixing your head, shoulder blades, and glutes to the bench, creating a natural arch in the back and a solid base to un-rack the weight from.
- Maintain the natural arch in your back, keep your chest high and shoulder blades pinned to the bench.
- Position the feet below the knees and focus on driving them into the floor to create a solid base to push from.
- Un-rack the bar to begin
- Squeeze your glutes and abs for stability
Get your setup right for a better all-around bench press and reduced risk of injury.
Apply Progressive Overload with Micro-loading
This means instead of trying to add 2.5kg to the bar each time you hit your desired reps and sets, start adding 1.5kg, 1.25kg, or 1kg instead.
If you do this, you can continue to make steady strength gains.
Squeeze The Bar & Pull It Apart
This is a great and easy tip you can apply to eke out all the power you can; all you need to do is try and pull the bar apart as you perform the bench press.
This is because applying a lateral force to the bar when benching increases power output and improves strength (7).
Strengthen The Weaker Muscles
Although your chest is the bench press’s main focus, you’re also working your shoulders and triceps.
If these muscles are weak or underdeveloped, you can bet it’ll impact the amount of weight you can lift when benching.
Focus on building strength in these areas and watch your bench press skyrocket.
Bench Press More Often
- Whenever it comes to learning a skill like Bench Press Form, you’re told practice makes perfect.
- It would help if you learned the movement, hone your form, and then do it repeatedly to get better.
- Try benching pressing twice a week to improve your skill and add weight to the bar.
Focus On Lifting Heavy Weights
More strength = more weight on the bar, but what’s the best way to get stronger?
A research study (8) set out to see what number of repetitions would result in the fastest improvement in strength.
They took 199 male college students and split them into 9 groups.
Each group trained with different repetitions per set from the following repetitions; 2RM, 4RM, 6RM, 8RM, 10RM & 12RM.
And tested them before and after completing a 12-week progressive program, and researchers concluded that the optimum number of repetitions for strength was between 3 and 9 reps.
Lift With Explosive Power
If you want to lift more, then lift explosively (10).
This doesn’t mean you should go dropping the weight and bouncing it off your chest, but it does mean you spend some time working on a fast, controlled descent following an explosive concentric contraction to return the bar to the starting position.
Prioritize The Bench Press Form
Several research studies (11, 12) show that the order you do your exercises can affect your performance. Exercises being completed towards the end of your workout is more difficult than those at the beginning.
For this reason, it’s advisable to make the bench press form the first exercise you do when you are at your freshest.
Stay Away From The Smith Machine
If you want to improve your bench press, then keep clear of the smith machine.
- Research (13) found that the free weight bench press created greater muscle activation than the smith machine bench press and is superior for developing upper body muscle mass.
- Research (14) also shows that strength is significantly greater when performing the bench press form as a free weight exercise than the smith machine bench press.
Using these 11 tactics, you will definitely improve your bench press form and add weight to the bar.
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