Quick Tips to Help Your Bench

    There has been a bit of a hiatus from us at Beyond Strength when it comes to the blog and I want to send out a quick apology for that.  During the coming week we will put up a lot of useful information to help you keep moving forward toward your goals.  However, today I just wanted to put up a quick post giving you some tips to help you add some weight to the bar the next time you bench.  I decided to get this out to you on Saturday because as most gym goers know, Monday is internationally recognized as “bench day.”  All hail Jersey Shore! 

Tip #1- Push less and pull more.  Most people have significant discrepancies in strength between their push muscles and pull muscles, with the push muscles being much stronger.  Concentrate on making your back stronger and it will give you a more solid “platform” to press from, making your bench better.

Tip #2-Keep your shoulder blades back and down throughout the movement.  So, think about squeezing your shoulder blades together and then pulling them down toward your butt.  This is the position you should hold throughout an entire bench set.  It keeps your upper body in a locked position and allows you to generate more force, while also helping to keep your shoulders healthy.

Tip #3- Push yourself away from the weight as you press.  I know this sounds funny, but it works.  When you bench and think about pushing the weight away from you this could flattten your back out and you will lose the shoulder position we talked about in tip #2.  So, when you push drive your shoulders into the bench harder and push away from the weight.  You will be surprised with what you feel.

Tip#4- Push your chest up toward the bar during the entire set.  This sound awkward, and it will be at first.  It’s ok, you’ll get used to it.  Pushing your chest up throughout the set reinforces the previous two form points in tips number 2 and 3.  If you keep driving your chest up in the air (even as you press) you will keep your shoulders and upper back in the proper position.

Tip#5- Grab the bar as hard as you can, especially during low-rep sets.  This will increase your neural drive and excite your central nervous system to a greater degree, allowing you to push much harder and recruit more muscle fibers.

Have a great weekend and try these tips out the next time that you bench.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Get Stronger,


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Chris Merritt

Strength Coach/ B.S. Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University/ FMS/ Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist/ Certified Kettlebell Instructor/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance and Beyond Strength Performance NOVA

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