Beryl Craig. Benches. December 20th , 2017.
This may be perceived as the silliest step in getting a bigger bench, but it may actually be the most overlooked. Chalk is generally seen as an aid in only pulling movements, but its beneficial effects can be seen in pushing movements as well. Chalk at its core does one thing, it allows for a more firm and secure grip of a bar. When you bench heavy you want every muscle working together to get that bar off of your chest. Your forearms included. Chalking up your hands and the bar will allow you to have a more secure and firm grip, when you squeeze your heart out it will now go the extra mile. Try it, chalk helps, it really does.
Okay, using chalk might have seemed odd at first, and I am sure that foam rolling your legs seems even more out of place right now, but trust me, it works. This step towards a bigger bench should not be limited to just your lower body, you really should foam roll your upper body as well. There are a few reasons for this. First, foam rolling relieves tension built up in your body. When you bench press (and lift heavy in general) you want to get the most out of your muscles, you want everything working in sync and at their maximum, this goes for your legs as well as your upper body. By foam rolling your IT band, inner quad sweep, glutes, and calves you are preparing yourself for maximum effort from your leg drive. By loosening and releasing tension and stress in your lower body you are allowing yourself the ability to use your leg drive as effectively as possible.
In addition to the floor press you are going to want to hammer your triceps with a few other presses to really make them stronger. The close grip bench press is the same as the bench press, just with a closer grip. Your hands do not need to be extremely close to reap the benefits of this exercise, and going to close can actually cause wrist pain and inhibit you from going as heavy as you can. A width similar to that of the man below will work just fine for our goals. Keep your elbows in, and perform full reps. Train moderately heavy like above. The Tate press is a great finishing exercise for your bench training days. The Tate press simulates a bench press but only engages your triceps. We still want to go heavy here, but not quite as much, think 8-10 reps per set.
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