Building the Bench Press Muscles

When you hear someone talk about the bench press you typically hear them talking about their chest muscles.  While the bench press can certainly stimulate the pecs, the way it is performed by most lifters makes it more of a shoulder and triceps exercise.

With that in mind, let’s look at 3 great exercises you can use to increase your bench without actually bench pressing.

1. Overhead Presses

This is one of my favorites for increasing the bench press.  Most lifters tend to neglect this exercise, or at best do it last in their workout.  This creates a weak link, and when you fix this weak link you will see your bench press soar.

You can do this exercise with dumbbells or a barbell, either way will work.  I highly suggest performing this exercise standing most of the time since it is a great way to engage the rest of the body in the movement.  This makes the movement more transferable to daily activities.

2. Dips

This is one of the best overall triceps builders when done correctly.  Most people tend to lean forward, as this makes the exercise easier and allows them to handle more weight.  Unfortunately this also takes the stress off the triceps and puts it on the chest.  As mentioned above, this is not what we want if our goal is a big bench press.

Make sure to maintain an upright posture and make sure to add weight with a dip belt or by holding a dumbbell between your feet as you get stronger.

3. Pull-ups

Wait, is that a typo?  Nope.

Yes, pull-ups are a back exercise, but the back is actually very important in the bench press.  It stabilizes you throughout the movement and gives you a base to press from.  For this reason pull-ups are one of the best exercises to increase your bench press.  As with dips it is important to add weight as you progress.

If your bench press has been stuck for awhile then take some time off from the bench press and improve your strength on these three exercises.  When you return to the bench press I think you will be pleased with the results.

And for more bench press tips check out this article on Bench Press Secrets.

Train hard,

Tony Schwartz
Professional Strength Coach

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One Response to “Building the Bench Press Muscles”

  1. Bench Press Tips « Muscle Growth Tips Says:

    [...] Press Tips 3 exercises you need to do if your bench press is [...]

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