I started using a planned warm-up regimen before my bench press exercises and soon felt more confident and ready to handle larger weights.
The following 4 exercises should be performed to warm up for bench pressing:
• Start with a basic general warmup to raise body temperature.
• Choose mobility exercises that improve blood flow to restricted muscles.
• Include a dynamic stretching routine. This improves range of motion.
• Do some activation exercises to prep and prime the stabilizing muscles.
If you've never heard of any of these items before, don't worry. I had no idea when I initially entered the gym, so I either performed a shoddy warm-up program or missed it altogether. Since then, I've looked into the best ways to warm up for bench press, and I've discovered that performing each of the mentioned phases has been demonstrated to improve both my strength and performance.
So let me share what I've discovered in the hopes that it will help you maximize your own bench press workouts.
The general warm-goal up's is to raise your core body temperature with a light cardiovascular workout.
Although this step may appear superficial, solid research indicates that it can improve performance, particularly when it comes to maximum strength.
According to a study by Barroso et al. (2006), a 15-minute low effort warm-up improved 1 rep max strength more than other techniques when "low intensity" was defined as breaking a "light sweat." The group that used this type of warm-up had a 3-4% larger difference in 1 rep maximum strength.
My preferred method for working up a "light sweat" for bench press is to spend 15 minutes on the rower or stationary bike. I occasionally combine using the bike and the rower, but I always warm up well beforehand.
Other studies have indicated that even a 5-minute warm-up can improve performance if you are short on time and can't fit a 15-minute general warm-up into your regimen (Wilson et al., 2012).
The takeaway: One of the biggest bench press blunders is neglecting the general warm-up.
You can improve the blood supply to your muscles and regain motion by performing mobility activities.
Mobility exercises are carried out by using self-massage therapy methods, such as applying pressure to the muscle using a foam roller or lacrosse ball.
The mobility of the joint is restricted when a muscle is tight. Every workout in the gym calls for a specific range of motion. To fully extend the bar during the bench press, you must have the necessary mobility in your shoulders and thoracic spine.
It's crucial to understand that using self-massage therapy techniques while completing mobility drills will only momentarily restore motion. This means that while foam rolling can expand your range of motion for a particular exercise, its effects are short-lived (from a range of motion perspective). Therefore, you'll need additional strategies (like static stretching) to improve your mobility over the long term after your workout (Peacock et al., 2014).
Many athletes actually go beyond during this part of the warm-up and spend much too much time performing mobility drills. My advice is to choose one to three of the exercises below, apply pressure to the muscle, and then perform five to ten strokes for 60 to 90 seconds. You are welcome to alternate your mobility exercises throughout time.
Apply pressure to the lat muscle while lying sideways on the foam roller. Roll any tight spots, whether they are higher or lower.
There are more muscles in the pectoralis major. Start rolling inwards toward the body's midline from the tighter upper pec areas closest to the shoulder.
Under the armpit is the pec minor. Apply proper pressure to the pec minor while performing this exercise on the floor because it can be more difficult to do so against a wall.
On the foam roller, flex and extend your upper and middle back. The erector spinae, which are located on either side of your spine, can also be compressed.
Before lifting, dynamic stretching will assist you lengthen the muscle and enhance its performance.
Stretching can be classified as either dynamic or static. Moving your muscles 15–30 times in and out of a range of motion is known as dynamic stretching. Holding your muscles in a range of motion for a predetermined period of time is known as static stretching (30-60 seconds).
Dynamic stretching is the kind of stretching you should perform before lifting. Dynamic stretching before an exercise has been shown in a study by McMillian et al. (2006) to improve performance across a range of outcomes, including strength, speed, and power.
Exercises that activate the minor muscular groups that assist the prime movers stabilize them.
The chest, shoulders, and triceps are the main muscle groups used in the bench press. However, a number of lesser muscles in the upper back and rotator cuff work to stabilize the movement and free up the prime movers to perform to the best of their abilities. In order to prepare these stabilizing muscles for the main workout, we should stimulate them first.
I suggest choosing one or two exercises from the list below and performing them in one or two sets of 10-15 repetitions. Feel free to alternate between various activation drills over time, but make sure you move gently through the range of motion to avoid overcompensating for the larger muscle groups.
Avoid performing too many activation exercises, or "overdoing it." The stabilizers just need to be primed and kept fresh for the primary task.
• Band Pull Apart
• Prone Trap 3 Raise
• Scapular Push Up
• Wall Slides
• Dumbbell Serratus Pullover
The warm-up should only take you 15 minutes if you follow each of these steps. Adopting a decent warm-up regimen has several advantages, including preparing your body for the main activity, improving performance, and lowering the risk of injury. A general warm-up, mobility drills, dynamic stretching, and activation exercises should always be a part of any warm-up, even if you build your own special style based on your particular preferences.