The bench press is one of the most popular and effective exercises for developing upper body strength and muscle mass. However, many people struggle to improve their bench press and often hit a plateau in their progress. Let’s explore some strategies that can help you break through that plateau and improve your bench press.
One of the most common reasons why people struggle to improve their bench press is that they have poor technique. It is essential to have the correct form when performing the bench press to ensure that you are targeting the correct muscles and avoiding injury. The correct technique involves lying flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, your shoulder blades retracted, and your elbows tucked in. Your grip should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and your wrists should be straight. As you lower the bar to your chest, your elbows should be at a 45-degree angle to your body, and the bar should touch your chest just below your nipples. As you push the bar up, make sure you press it in a straight line above your chest and not toward your face.
To improve your bench press, you need to train it more frequently. Instead of only bench pressing once a week, try increasing your frequency to twice a week or even three times a week. However, make sure you allow for sufficient recovery time between sessions to prevent overtraining.
Identifying your weak points is crucial for improving your bench press. If you struggle with the bottom of the lift, then you need to work on strengthening your chest and triceps. If you struggle with locking out the lift, then you need to work on your shoulders and triceps. You can do this by incorporating accessory exercises that target these muscles. For example, if you struggle with the bottom of the lift, you can do incline bench press, dips, and push-ups to strengthen your chest and triceps.
To improve your bench press, you need to do more volume. This means increasing the number of sets and reps you do per workout. You can do this by adding more sets, doing more reps per set, or increasing the weight. However, make sure you do not increase the volume too quickly, as this can lead to overtraining and injury.
Having good mobility is essential for performing the bench press correctly. If you have tight shoulders or a limited range of motion, then you will struggle to perform the exercise correctly. You can improve your mobility by incorporating mobility exercises into your warm-up routine. Some examples of mobility exercises for the bench press include shoulder dislocates, band pull-aparts, and wall slides.
Assistance exercises can help you improve your bench press by targeting the muscles that are involved in the lift. Some of the best assistance exercises for the bench press include:
To improve your bench press, you need to get stronger. This means focusing on progressive overload and gradually increasing the weight you lift. You can do this by adding weight to the bar each week, increasing the number of reps or sets you do, or reducing your rest time between sets.
Improving your bench press takes time and consistency. You cannot expect to make progress if you only go to the gym once and a while. Consistency is key to enhancing your bench press and muscle mass. Progress takes time and dedication. Merely sporadic visits to the gym will not yield substantial results. Commit to a consistent training routine and maintain the motivation to push forward, even when progress may seem slow. Consistency will ultimately lead to the improvements you desire.
Remember, improving your bench press and building muscle mass is a journey that requires patience, perseverance, and the right strategies. By implementing these tips and staying dedicated, you can break through plateaus and achieve your desired results.
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