Simple Strategies to Boost Your Bench Press (and Save Your Shoulders)

The bench press is one of the most popular exercises among men and women. There are many reasons why it’s so popular: it develops strength, power, flexibility, balance and overall physical appearance. However, there are other exercises which have similar benefits but don’t require any equipment or special training techniques. They’re called “simple” because they only involve using your body weight and do not require much time or effort from you; thus they’re easy to perform.

There are several simple exercises which can improve your bench press performance, and these include:

1. Dumbbell Pushups – Dumbbell pushups work the upper body muscles like shoulders, chest and triceps.

You simply hold a dumbbell in each hand while performing pushup. These are great for developing strength in the arms, but they’re also useful if you want to build some muscle mass too!

2. Planks – Planking is a type of exercise where you lie down on the floor and keep your legs straight up in the air.

You then slowly move your feet apart until your knees touch the ground. This exercise works all major muscle groups including glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. It’s great for improving core strength and stability as well as improving balance.

3. Abdominal Crunches – This is one of the most effective exercises for building a strong core.

It involves lying down on the floor and making an upward movement with the pelvis while raising your shoulders and upper back just off the ground.

4. Squats – This exercise involves bending your legs and pushing back up while holding a barbell in front of you.

It’s one of the best exercises for strengthening your leg muscles.

5. Walking Lunges – These are similar to regular lunges, except you will be carrying dumbbells.

Start off by standing with your legs together and take a large step forward. As you drop your back knee to the floor, slowly lower the weights in your hands.

Simple Strategies to Boost Your Bench Press (and Save Your Shoulders) - Image

Just like with other types of exercises, it’s important that you don’t overdo it and listen to your body. Remember to take lots of rest days and avoid straining yourself too much. By following the above tips and strategies, you’ll be able to increase your strength and power while building stronger core muscles. Avoid using weights until you have the necessary knowledge and skill to avoid hurting yourself or others.

Most people don’t realize this, but building strong core muscles is actually one of the simplest things that you can do in order to improve your bench press performance. If you want to be able to lift more weight, then you need to make sure that your body is prepared for the extra weight. Having a strong core will help you by providing extra strength and support, which in turn will help you push extra weight.

One of the best things about working out your core is that you can do it literally anywhere because all you need is your body. There are several different types of exercises that you can use to accomplish this, but here are some of the best:

1. Leg Raises

This exercise is one of the simplest yet most effective for building abdominal muscles. To perform this exercise, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet placed on the floor. After this, you need to lift your hips into the air to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Maintain this position for a couple of seconds and then slowly lower yourself back to the ground.

For an added challenge, you can also try lifting one leg at a time as high as you can in the air while you’re in this position.

2. Back Bridges

This is a great exercise for targeting the muscles in your lower back, which is an area that tends to get weaker as you get older. To perform this exercise, start by lying down on your back and making sure your palms are facing up. After this, you need to lift your knees up to your chest and then push with your arms to lift your hips off the ground. Your knees should remain lifted in the air as you push up with your arms.

Hold this position for a couple of seconds and then lower yourself back to the ground slowly.

3. Crunches

Crunches are another common exercise that most people are familiar with. They’re one of the best exercises for working out your core. To perform this exercise, start by lying down on your back and making sure your hands are directly above your head and your elbows are slightly bent. Next, you need to pull your knees into your chest and then using only your abs, slowly lift your shoulders off the ground.

Simple Strategies to Boost Your Bench Press (and Save Your Shoulders) - GymFitWorkout

Once you’re in the position shown above, hold this for a couple of seconds and then lower yourself back down.

4. Planks

Planks are a more advanced exercise that will really test your core strength. To perform this exercise, you simply need to get into the same position that you see in the picture. You need to make sure that you keep your back straight and that only your elbows and your toes are touching the ground. Maintaining this position should be easy for a few seconds, but it gets more difficult as time goes on.

Most people will start to slouch after forty seconds or so, so this is something that you’ll want to work up to.

5. V-Ups

This exercise is really effective at targeting your rectus abdominus muscles. To perform this exercise, you’re going to need something that will let you lean forward such as a chair or even a couch. To get into the starting position, you’re going to want to sit on something so that your legs are bent in front of you and your arms are resting on top of your knees. From here, you’re going to slowly lean forward until your torso is at a forty five degree angle.

Next, you’re going to use your arms to lift your legs off the ground until they’re both in the air. From this position, you’re going to bring your legs forward until they almost touch your chest before slowly lowering them back down.

6. Bicycle Crunches

Like the name suggests, you’re going to look a little bit like you’re riding a bicycle while performing this exercise. To get into the position shown above, you’re going to want to lie down on your back and have your hands crossed over one another with your palms facing your head. From here, you’re going to lift your legs off the ground with your knees bent and bring them forward until your feet are behind your head. Next, you’re going to cross your right leg over your left leg and touch your right elbow to your left knee.

Simple Strategies to Boost Your Bench Press (and Save Your Shoulders) - | Gym Fit Workout

Repeat this process, but switch which leg is crossed over which.

7. Jack Knifes

The last exercise on our list is the Jack knife. This one is a little bit different than the rest because it focuses on just your rectus abdominus. To perform this exercise, you’re going to start in a seated position and then lean forward ninety degrees so that your torso is parallel with your legs and extend your arms out in front of you. From here, you’re going to bring your head down to touch your knees by bending at the waist.

When your head is close to your knees, you’re going to extend your arms out again and then pull yourself back to a straight position.

And there you have it! These are some of the best exercises for working out your core. If you’re a beginner, start off by performing each exercise ten times and over the course of a few days work your way up to fifty repetitions. If you’re more experienced, try to hold a plank for at least a minute or lift your knees all the way up to your elbows.

As always, make sure to consult with a doctor before you begin any new exercise routine.

Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Sources & references used in this article:

The “sticking period” in a maximum bench press by R Van Den Tillaar, G Ettema – Journal of sports sciences, 2010 – Taylor & Francis

The effects of combining elastic and free weight resistance on strength and power in athletes by CE Anderson, GA Sforzo, JA Sigg – The Journal of Strength & …, 2008 – journals.lww.com

A prospective evaluation of untreated acute grade III acromioclavicular separations by TF Schlegel, RT Burks, RL Marcus… – The American journal …, 2001 – journals.sagepub.com

The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU! by A Campbell – 2009 – books.google.com

Are anthropometric, flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance variables related to clubhead velocity in low-and high-handicap golfers? by JWL Keogh, MC Marnewick, PS Maulder… – The Journal of …, 2009 – journals.lww.com

Instructions to adopt an external focus enhance muscular endurance by DC Marchant, M Greig… – … for Exercise and …, 2011 – shapeamerica.tandfonline.com

Changes in strength and power performance in elite senior female professional volleyball players during the in-season: a case study by MC Marques, R Van Den Tillaar… – The Journal of …, 2008 – cdn.journals.lww.com