Bench press is one of those exercises that every guy wants to be good at no matter what his training goals are. Bench press is the biggest ego exercise in the gym in almost any city or town. If you want to increase your bench try some of these tips.
1. TRAIN THE TRICEPS- This does not mean push downs and kickbacks, this means close grip presses and extensions. The close grip bench press is a great way to pack on size and give you bench pressing strength. If you have noticed you cant finish the reps on your bench press that is due to poor tricep strength.
2. TRAIN YOUR BACK- While most people wont think about this, your lats and mid back play a huge part in stabilization during the bench press. Bigger and stronger back muscles will equal a bigger bench. Do barbell rows and seated rows!
3. PULL YOUR SHOULDER BLADES TOGETHER AND TIGHT- Do this while pressing and you will create a shorter distance for the bar to travel which helps you. You will also create a more stable surface to push from.
4. ELBOW POSITIONING- If you want to get a bigger chest you bench with your elbows out, if you want a big bench you bench with your elbows tucked. This will allow you to use your lats to help drive the bar off your chest as well as your triceps. You will generate far more force in this position as oppose to elbows out wide. Another important thing is to keep the barbell in line with the elbow throughout the press.
5. BAR POSITIONING- Bring the bar low on your chest when pressing. At almost all power lifting competitions you will hear people say bring it low! This helps keep your elbows in line with the bar.
6. TRAIN YOUR ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES- This is very over looked but when you strengthen this you will notice a huge jump in your bench press strength. Sometimes you can improve your bench by 20% just by doing this. Your shoulder joint will become more stable and allow you to lift more weight. Try doing external rotation exercises or cuban presses.
7. OF COURSE BENCH-If you want a bigger bench you need to bench! Sure you can do 100's on the dumbbells but you must bench to bench! Try training bench in different ways. Some days train very heavy, like 90-100% of your max for 1-3 reps. Other days try doing reps for speed to create that explosiveness. This type of lifting would use 40-60% of your max for max speed.