Posting on the bench press seems like the perfect start Workout week approach, but if you really want to maximize your international pecs on Monday, you may need to fix a few key points for your upper body workout. While you’ve probably heard that a large bench is the path to a big, strong chest, there’s more to it if you want a balanced, healthy body.
To get the most out of your chest workout, Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS, points out three common mistakes that beginners (and everyone else) should be aware of so you can work towards eliminating bad habits. These tips will help prevent any muscle imbalances and possible injuries that could get your chest routine fast approaching. Don’t open your elbows when you bench press
When it comes to the dumbbell press, it’s probably the biggest mistake beginners make, says Samuel, but it’s easy to correct. When a trainee begins the bench press, some first attempt to lift the weight with a straight 90-degree upper arm to torso angle. This causes our elbows to flare out. While this angle can strain your pecs, you’ll end up with more uncomfortable shoulder pressure — or even pain — at the shoulder joint.
solution: Shot to maintain an upper arm angle of 45 degrees to the torso. Not only is this a safer angle for your shoulders, it also opens up your lats throughout the movement, allowing you to complete more reps and increase your chest size — without pain or discomfort. You tilt pressure with bad form
The incline press must be used for upper chest. Yet another form flaw for inexperienced lifters is the angle at which they press from an incline position. Since your position is close to a 90 degree angle, people usually press at the same angle. Not only will this extension put extreme pressure on your shoulders, it won’t even hit your upper chest.
solution: The rule of thumb for the incline press—and most presses in general—is that your forearms should be perpendicular to the ground, regardless of the angle of the press. Keep them vertical and you’ll hit a whole bunch of different fibers from all sorts of lean angles. You ignore your back
This may be hard to understand, but training your chest shouldn’t be just about chest-specific exercises. If your only training focus is on what’s in front of you, your entire body will be disrupted.
solution: You should also train your back muscles, especially using rowing. As you train your chest, your shoulders are constantly pulled forward. Adding a back-focused exercise like the barbell row will not only keep your shoulders healthy, but it can help improve your posture by stretching your chest. This will allow you to show off all the hard work you put in on boobs day.
Jeff Tomko is a freelance fitness writer, Has written for Muscle and Fitness, Men’s Fitness and Men’s Health.
Advertising – Continue reading below
Advertisement – Continue reading below