Training Tip: Improving Your Bench Press

There is a strategic way to incorporate your mobility practice with your strength programming to improve your bench press. Below we'll cover a simple two-step process to improve both your shoulder mobility and strength. 

Performing a mobility exercise before your lift can help you focus on the work at hand. Refining your movement technique helps you understand where to place your body confidently to help you work towards your goals. 


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A1: Shoulder Extension 

To start: place yourself between two benches with your knees bent to eventually support you on the floor. Try kissing your elbows back behind you to recruit the muscles that pull your shoulder blades back and together. Breathe and work with that effort for about 2 minutes. 

A2: Dumbbell Bench Press

Now place the dumbbells on your chest and search for the same feeling as you did in the first exercise. As you press for reps you are reinforcing the stretch you found in A1. Controlling this range under load will reinforce the work you did in the first exercise. 


Unsure as to what A1 is really doing for A2? Try this test-retest sequence to feel the difference. Perform a set of A2 (your bench press), then go back and do A1 (mobility). Return to A2 for another set, and see if you can feel a difference in your range of motion and your ability to recruit or "feel" the right muscles.


Working in your full range creates a standard and can work as a boundary to help you know when to stop your working set. The amount of reps varies depending on the goal in a given rehab or strength program and can be tailored by a coach or therapist. 


If you're curious to learn more about how mobility training can improve your strength, join us for KINSTRETCH on Wednesday 6pm or Saturday 10a every week.