INCREASE YOUR BENCH WITH THESE EXERCISES

INCREASE YOUR BENCH WITH THESE EXERCISES

Who has heard or been told that if you bench, you are to get all buff and muscular? I have, tons of time. But in reality there is no research that proves bench alone is going to make you huge. The bench will actually increase stability and strength in your shoulders and tone your muscles.

Okay, so now that we have addressed that rumors, are you interested in starting to bench, increase your bench press numbers, or learn about bench form? Let’s take a look at what muscles are involved in benching and what to remember during the lift.

First, not all benches are created equal. I guess we could say that about all lifts. And what I mean is that for a lift like the bench limb length has a big impact on how “easy” it may be for you. Shorter arms = less range of motion. Less range of motion = less work. That’s why you don’t see a lot of tall powerlifters. Height is actually one attribute that makes the sport harder. 

And before you come at me, that is not to say that a 5’2″ girl benching 135 is not as impressive as a 6’0″ girl. They are both impressive. The 5’2″ girl likely has less body mass making her 135 crazy compared to her bodyweight.

Then there is form. Depending on your form when you bench, like wide grip or narrow grip, muscles used will vary. This is important to note when you are, or your coach is, programming your auxiliaries. Another consideration in selecting auxiliaries is where your personal deficiencies exist. Do you always fail at lockout? To me that could signify a tricep strength issue. So I would have my lifter increase their tricep auxiliaries. 

To be more specific, the wider your grip on the bar goes the more lats you will use. The more narrow a bench grip gets will require more triceps. Similar to above, this is a lot to do with how wide and narrow grips change the range of motion required to perform the bench.

This article will go over the major muscles involved and exercises you can do to strengthen them. I will also talk about common dysfunctions in the bench and key points to help.

After reading this article I hope you will have a better understanding of the muscles involved in the bench press and how to use them to your advantage.

PRIMARY MUSCLES INVOLVED IN THE BENCH

Let’s review the primary muscles used in the bench. This will help you to understand why you want to train those muscles individually in addition to just in the bench pattern. But remember that depending on your set up your muscles will be used to varying degrees.

PectoralsThe pectoral muscles contract to press the weight up during the accent of the bench.

Latimuss DorisThe lats are the broadest muscles in the back. They work with the teres major to control the descent of the bench.

Triceps – The triceps extend the elbow during the lock out of the bench.

DeltoidsThe deltoids work with the pectorals to contract and press the weight during the accent of the bench.

MAIN DYSFUNCTIONS SEEN DURING THE BENCH

In my experience, it is sometimes better to first talk about the dysfunctions or what not to do when learning a new movement. You are then able to recognized the dysfunction and know how to fix it if you ever notice a problem with your form.

One of the most common dysfunctions I see is the elbows often flair out instead of staying tucked during the accent. This changes the load and muscle activation and will decrease the chances of the lift being successful. Being aware of this and making sure all of your warm ups have perfect form will transfer over into the working sets.

When you are starting to bench you are going to think about pushing the bar up but really you should be thinking about pushing the bar back. This may sound weird because you want the bar to go up. But if you think about pushing the bar back towards your head while pressing up you will use more triceps and lats and in turn be able to push more weight.

In my world, your butt should not be coming up off the bench. This will result in a red light at a powerlifting meet in the USA Powerlifting Federation where I am a  member. I prefer to also teach my clients this way. The legs are also important during the bench because they help “drive” the weight up by pushing into the ground. (Remember Newton’s Third Law of Motion?) So in order to have a successful bench you have to keep your core engaged and glutes tight to avoid an upward movement of the hips. Which will help keep your butt on the bench.

AUXILIARY EXERCISES THAT CAN HELP INCREASE YOUR BENCH

If you are looking to increase your bench press you are going to have to start including auxiliaries into your workout that address your weaknesses. Check out the list I have below of some of my favorite and most effective exercises categorized by muscle group. Try them out in your next workout and let us know what you think!

And remember that auxiliaries are used to stimulate a huge adaptation. If you aren’t pushing yourself on auxiliaries you are missing the whole point.

Exercises to Strengthen Your Pectorals

  • Flys
  • Incline bench
  • Cable press
  • Push ups

Exercises to strengthen your Latissimus Dorsi

  • Pull downs
  • Pull ups
  • Palms up bent over row
  • Eccentric push ups

Exercises to Strengthen your Triceps

  • Push downs
  • Kick backs
  • Overhead tricep extensions
  • Tricep dips
  • Tricep pushups

Exercises to Strengthen your Deltoids

  • Forward raise
  • Lateral raise
  • Flys

Side Note

While it isn’t listed here, core strength is integral to your bench performance. Focus your attention on building a strong core and following a consistent training schedule and your bench, and other lifts, will common along. Do the opposite and you will likely experience plateaus and injuries. Check out this article on why training your core is essential.  and take a look at all of our core workout videos here.

My favorite ab focused exercises:

  • Ab Wheel – work up to 5 sets of 20 before adding resistance, like a plate on your back. Make sure you have a full range of motion and proper form before adding resistance.
  • Plank – any and all variations are excellent. Be sure to hold your form when you add movement. The low back can not sag or arch. Upper body mountain climbers are a great finisher, or “to failure” exercise.
  • Decline Bench Sit-Ups – there are many variations you can use to target unilaterally, rotation or upper body. A good goal to start with is 20 full sit-ups for 5 sets.

Auxiliary Bench Workout

Key Points to Increase Your Bench

Scapular retraction is key! A strong set up with well placed shoulders will put you in the position to have optimal scapular retraction. And the use of your posterior shoulder muscles and back (those performing scapular retraction) will make or break your lift. 

Core should be engaged but back should be arched. This is specific to a powerlifting bench. The arched back puts the shoulders into a better position. The extended spine locks the shoulders into a position where the range of motion is decreased and safest for the shoulders. The core must be engaged to offset the arch in the back and protect from over arching.

Use your legs. Keeping your feet stable and flexing your glutes and hamstrings during the bench will help with full body tension. This will allow your body to successfully control more weight.

Other Main Lifts

Because of my powerlifting background I associated bench and the other two main lifts of powerlifting. Which are squat and deadlift. They each contain their own unique muscular demands, but the philosophy behind training is no different. I have put together an article just like this one on the squat and the deadlift. Follow the links below to get specific information you can start applying to your workouts today.

How to Increase Your Back Squat

How to Increase Your Deadlift

fitness articles
lifestyle articles
nutrition articles
golf articles
Unlock Your Full Potential: The Bodyweight Workout Program

Unlock Your Full Potential: The Bodyweight Workout Program

Are you looking to transform your body, boost your fitness, and achieve your health goals without the need for expensive gym memberships or fancy equipment? Look no further! I have an amazing solution for you, my Bodyweight Workout Program. In today's fast-paced...

read more
Sculpt Your Goals: Dumbbell Only Workout Program

Sculpt Your Goals: Dumbbell Only Workout Program

Are you ready to start a new workout program that focuses on building strength in a simple and effective manner? Then you are in the right place! My Dumbbell Only Workout Program is your answer to achieving your fitness goals. Let's explore why my program is the...

read more
3 Reasons to Own Your Own Training Business

3 Reasons to Own Your Own Training Business

Owning your own training business can be an exciting and yet overwhelming thought. But ask yourself... Are you committed to the long term? Does passion and knowledge fuel your desire to work with clients everyday? Are you looking for more career advancement...

read more

SUBSCRIBE

Click to sign-up for weekly information and offers.

DISCLOSURE

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

The Number 1 Exercise for Club Speed and Distance

The Number 1 Exercise for Club Speed and Distance

To II used If you have just found our website you might have missed my recent post. Top 5 Exercises for Increasing Your Distance. If you haven’t read it, take a minute and hop over there. It will best set you up to value and understand the below information.

After I released my Top 5 Exercises for Increasing Your Distance I sat back and did some more thinking. I share conversations with our trainers and ultimately decided that I should share my absolute, no questions ask, Number 1 Exercise for Club Speed and Distance.

WHAT EXERCISE?

I have spent many years training golfers to obtain this attribute. To achieve faster club speeds thus to improve distance. I have worked with some high-level golfers in which I controlled their off-season and in-season programs. Through those experiences I have developed a favorite to answer this question of what is the best exercise.

Without a doubt the number one exercise is the back squat.

WHY?

A proper cycled back squat program. Designed to peak at the right time. Has shown to increase club speed within 4-6 weeks by a substantial number. It didn’t happen once, or twice. It happens every time. If I get to truly get cycle and adapt a golfer’s squat program, they will drive the ball further. Every time.

To be clear,  the exercise MUST be done correctly to get the right results. The golfer (client) must be programmed correctly, making adjustments as needed throughout the program.

You simply can’t just do a back squat at minimal weight or with improper technique and expect large increases in speed.

RESULTS

Here is a quick program breakdown of two top level players I have trained for the last 7 years.  I  have controlled everything they do from a strength training program intently:

  • I cycled them every 6-10 weeks, adjusting their intensity and volume throughout.
  • To maximize strength gains, I selected auxiliaries that work synergistically. Especially with the back squat.
  • I changed exercises and adapted the program as the cycle progressed to respond to their body.
  • Limitations with flexibilities were identified and monitored to ensure progress.
  • I established stability and maintained it through the entire program with proper exercise selection.

Over seven years their club speeds/ball speed were most impacted during cycles that included the back squat. No other program could come close to replicating the same results in the same time frame. 

It is without a doubt that the back squat has yielded the largest results in club speed thus allowing further distance, which is why it is my number one exercise. That being said, I certainly have seen golfers that the back squat is not appropriate for due to orthopedic limitations. I cannot stress this enough. Strength training is NOT one size fits all. The program must meet the client where they are and then be applied to get them where they want to go. 

WHERE TO START

If you are familiar with the back squat or perhaps you are already working with a trainer adding in the back squat might be easy for you. Talk to your trainer about different ways to incorporate it into your weekly training program. Remember, maximizing results from the back squat requires appropriate programing and adjustments. Just tossing it in modestly will not yield high results. 

In the event that you don’t know how to back squat or how to properly include it in your program, reach out to us for an appointment. We are eager to help you develop the distance you have always dreamed of. We work both face-to-face and in online training formats.  

Check out our other online resources for golf programming:

🚨FOLLOW US HERE 🚨

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/purefitnesswi

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/purefitnesswi

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/purefitnesswi

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/chelliedegelleke/

GOLF: TOP 5 EXERCISES FOR INCREASING YOUR SWING SPEED

GOLF: TOP 5 EXERCISES FOR INCREASING YOUR SWING SPEED

People that love the game of golf regardless of how good they are all wish for one thing, more distance. Why? Because distance matters. More distance, when controlled, can mean less strokes to get to the green. Which cans clearly mean a lower score. (If you can putt.) And to get more distance you need to improve your swing speed.

HOW DO YOU INCREASE GOLF SWING SPEED?

Thats the million dollar questions. And I have a free answer for you. You are going to be shocked because it is simple. 

Strength. 

You need to have more strength to be able to produce more power to be able to drive the ball further. A, B, C. That’s it. 

personal trainer mequon wisconsin

WHAT’S THE CATCH?

But if it was really that simple wouldn’t we all have incredible golf swing speed and driving distance. Logic serves that if we all just get stronger we can all have more distance. Well you are right. Go ahead get stronger. 

Here is the catch.

Educated and experienced personal trainers, like myself, exist not just to be a therapist or make sure you show up to your workout. We have specific training & knowledge that allows us to increase your strength and translate it to sport performance. That’s why the guy that can squat 400 pounds and bicep curl 50s isn’t necessarily the best golfer. Sometimes that guy is all show and no go.

This process WILL look different depending on your health history and current physical fitness. After all, if there was just one exact way to get stronger and hit the ball further that applied to every person, I wouldn’t have a job or a leg to stand on.

BUT, every person has to go through the same progression to get to strength and power. In previous posts we touched on our approach that we use with every golfer – flexibility/range of motion, stability and then power. If you try to do 2 before 1 or 3 before 2 you won’t get the results you are looking for. Which is where we come in as personal trainers. Follow the right progression based on where your body and you get the right results. Simple.

TOP 5 STRENGTH EXERCISES FOR SWING SPEED IN GOLF

If you already follow an exercise program or like to work out here are a list of my top 5 exercises to improve your golf swing speed. How they are implemented within the program obviously make a difference, as mentioned above. But just implementing them into your routine in any manner will help immediately. You will notice that 3 of the 5 exercises are lower body, this is because the stronger and more stable you are in your legs will allow you to swing harder without a loss in stability which will give you speed immediately.

Back Squat

Power from the swing starts from the ground up, if you know how to use force from the ground up and understand how to load properly you will hit the ball further. This is why the back squat is so beneficial for distance.

  • TIP: the back squat is a technical lift, start light and master the mechanics to get the best results in the long run.

DB Deadlift

Again, same reasoning as the back squat, however, it is an easier exercise to accomplish. And arguably easier place to start with all golfers. The drawback is that it is not quite as efficient as the back squat. It can’t be loaded as much because you are restricted by the weight of the dumbbell. In our gym that goes up to 100 pounds. It also works the muscles in a different capacity than the back squat because the load is below your waist instead of on your back. This differentiates it from the back squat, giving it a place in your training program. 

  • TIP: form is of the highest concern. Poor form can lead to low back aggravation and tightness. Maintaining core bracing is and a flat back is essential.

High to Low Core Rotator

This movement teaches the appropriate kinematic sequence while mimicking the downswing. This allows us to train the translation of power from ground through core and to the club. 

  • TIP: your arms are the lever in this exercise. The further away from your body line you can keep them the more load you place on your core. The more load you place on your core the stronger it can get.

Single Leg RDL

Again, teaching the body how to load properly is the foundation of power in the swing. This exercise helps give you stability while also being able to focus on power and speed.

  • TIP: your range of motion will be limited backs on hamstring flexibility. Tight hamstrings will impact your ability to balance, or be stable. If this exercise is difficult you likely need to implement a stretching routine. Check out our golf specific stretching routine here.

Eccentric Core Rotator

This teaches the body how to isolate the eccentric muscle contraction phase and will help increase force production right away. Not an easy way to isolate the muscle but gives a fantastic output for speed and power.

  • TIP: proper eccentric load is all above maximizing the time spent in the muscle lengthening phase. Perform this exercise with even more control than usual to get the maximal results.

WHERE TO START

If you are familiar with the exercises or perhaps you are already working with a trainer. Find a way to incorporate these into your weekly training program. In the event that you don’t know how to add these exercises to your workout, reach out to us for an appointment. We are eager to help you develop the distance you have always dreamed of. We work both face-to-face and in online training formats. 

And if that is not possible, the safest place, with the largest impact would be flexibility. I didn’t talk much about it here because I have an entire article dedicated to the topic. Go read Golf Flexibility now. Implement those stretches and you will feel better, move better and play better.

Sign-up for our newsletter and we will send you 5 golf mobility exercises that will have you feeling better and playing better in just a few minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlock Your Full Potential: The Bodyweight Workout Program

Unlock Your Full Potential: The Bodyweight Workout Program

Are you looking to transform your body, boost your fitness, and achieve your health goals without the need for expensive gym memberships or fancy equipment? Look no further! I have an amazing solution for you, my Bodyweight Workout Program. In today's fast-paced...

read more
Sculpt Your Goals: Dumbbell Only Workout Program

Sculpt Your Goals: Dumbbell Only Workout Program

Are you ready to start a new workout program that focuses on building strength in a simple and effective manner? Then you are in the right place! My Dumbbell Only Workout Program is your answer to achieving your fitness goals. Let's explore why my program is the...

read more
3 Reasons to Own Your Own Training Business

3 Reasons to Own Your Own Training Business

Owning your own training business can be an exciting and yet overwhelming thought. But ask yourself... Are you committed to the long term? Does passion and knowledge fuel your desire to work with clients everyday? Are you looking for more career advancement...

read more
fitness articles
lifestyle articles
nutrition articles
golf articles

SUBSCRIBE

Click to sign-up for weekly information and offers.

DISCLOSURE

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.