Improve your Bench Press Technique with the Exercise of the Week
Fix your Bench Press Part 2
Reverse Band Bench Rows
Last week we talked about working on tucking the elbows in the bench press. This week we are going to talk about proper set up for the bench press and activating the lats during the movement. Reverse Band Bench Rows are a great way to teach an athlete to activate their lats in the bench press.
The lats are a very important stabilizer for all pressing movements. The athlete should think about “pulling” the bar down and keeping the “belly up” when benching. This will allow great control of the press and eliminate any bouncing you see at the local gym. The larger and thicker the upper back and lats are will also help create a very stable base to press from. Reverse band bench rows are a great way to strengthen the lats as well as teach proper technique for the bench. If the athlete tries to pull the bar down to high on their chest with their elbows out they will have a much harder time getting the bar down. When the athlete set up with good technique and creates tension throughout the entire body they will have a much easier time getting the bar down and they will find their natural bench groove(bar path).
Set up bands on top of a power rack as if you were performing a reverse band bench press. The bar should sit right about where you would lock out a bench. Get a good set up on the bench with the shoulder blades pulled down and back and get the feet and legs set tight on the bench. Grab the bar with your normal bench grip and focus on pulling the bar down and keeping the belly up. It is important to drive the heels down into the floor and suck big air in the belly to create tightness throughout the entire body. By doing this the athlete will get tight through their lats, abs and glutes. This creates a very stable platform to press from.
Reverse Band Bench rows are a great way to improve pressing technique and teaching the lifter to utilize the lats in the bench press. This exercise will help you become rock solid during all of your pressing attempts!