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Oct 5

A Top Trainer Shared the Best Exercise to Boost Your Bench Press – menshealth.com

In a new Athlean-X video, strength coach Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. demonstrates a back exercise which he recommends as a way of improving performance and technique in the bench press. It's the inverted row, an exercise that Cavaliere programs into almost all of his workouts, as it builds strength in the upper back, which in turn aids shoulder positioning and health.

"If you do this right, it reinforces something important that's going to carry over onto the bench press," he says. "What I want to do is get the chest out, and not just that. We have a stationary bar here and a moving body; I want to have my body be as active as I can to get up towards the bar. In other words, reach for the bar with my chest."

Cavaliere goes on to explain that shoulder pain can become an issue during the bottom portion of a bench press. "A lot of times, you're lacking the stability in the shoulder to do the tightness of the back during the exercise," he says. Just like in the inverted row, though, Cavaliere says that the body doesn't have to be static; it can be an "active participant" in the move: "Try to meet the bar, as opposed to just having the bar come down to meet you."

By slightly reducing the distance that the bar has to travel in the lower half of the movement, you can take things easier on your shoulders. "I'm basically rowing the bar down... and rowing myself up," says Cavaliere.

"Again, you're establishing a tight back from the beginning," he adds. "You're getting the chest up from the beginning, but as the bar comes down, you're actively trying to expand the ribcage and get yourself a little higher, decreasing the range of motion even just by half an inch, which can alleviate some problems... As the chest comes up, the shoulders go back, when the shoulders are back, the shoulder blades are down, and you have a safer position for the shoulders, making it not just beneficial for people who have issues or pain doing the bench press, but ultimately leading to a bigger bench press because you can remain tight."

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A Top Trainer Shared the Best Exercise to Boost Your Bench Press - menshealth.com

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