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The Body Consultants

Four Tips to Supercharge Your Bench Press

If there is ONE exercise that needs no introduction




Long been hailed as the KING for Upper body Strength development

It is arguably one of the BEST all round Upper Body exercises


Not only do you work your Pectorals (Chest)…..


You also work your Anterior Deltoids (Front of Shoulders)


Triceps Brachii (Back of upper arms)


Latissimus Dorsi (Wing-like muscles on back)


Trapezius & Rhomboids (Upper & Mid Back muscles), Forearms….


And Pretty much every muscle in your upper body (the list goes on)


But……the BENCH PRESS doesn’t just use the upper body


While it does place an emphasis on upper muscle groups


YOU WANT to engage the Lower body as well




So today I want to go over FOUR WAYS on


HOW TO set up for BENCH PRESS properly


Through teaching you how to maintain GLOBAL TENSION


Which will ultimately help SUPERCHARGE your Bench Press to the next level


So in the near future, next time someone asks you:




You will be able to start answering more confidently:


“More than You”


And maybe with a little cheeky ‘Pec Dance’ to go along with it


So let’s get into this pressing matter right away


By kicking it off with number ONE

1. Plant, Drive & Squeeze


Okay so the Bench looks simple enough


‘Lie on a bench with feet on the ground, unrack the bar & lower to the chest & press back up’




Well, not quite…….


Especially If you want to bench press properly & shift some serious weight!


You see it all starts from the floor……


This is where you create a solid base that helps your generate force from the ground up!


And this is where focusing on the lower body begins……..


Remember these key principles & you are off to a solid start:


  • PLANT your FEET into the floor & dig them in hard

         * Your shins should be vertical to underneath you


  • DRIVE your knees out to the sides
  • SQUEEZE your Glutes A.K.A Butt cheeks

         *like you are trying to pinch a $100 note


  • Maintain ALL OF THE ABOVE throughout the entire movement


So rather than just relying on the upper body to do all the work


Think of your Whole Body as ONE SINGLE UNIT rather than specific muscle groups


That way when you go to Bench


The lower body doesn’t just limp around on the floor like a fish out of water


And you become more of a Jedi Bench Master


Using ‘The Force’ you produce from PLANT, DRIVE & SQUEEZE


Leading you to press more weight


So you can ‘Press to Impress’


Because you know…..


You have to be boss at an exercise that has gained International recognition


In having its own dedicated day ie. Monday


Which makes me wonder why Mondays are not most people’s favourite day?


I mean it’s Bench Day! *Insert First pumping


Although It may not be the weekend


And be the start of working weekdays for most people


I believe it should be the start of what I call strongdays (not week/weakdays)


See what I did there 🙂


Yeah you read that right  


Anyway before I get carried away onto the next point…

2.Grip it Real Good

You lower body is tight in position


Tighter than spandex would be on Honey Boo Boo


Check ✅


Now it’s time time grip that bar!


Use what is called a BULLDOG GRIP


Simply by rotating your hands in when you go to grip the bar


All you have to do is imagine how a Bulldog plants his paws..


Following the two pictures below with Super Coach Jackie demonstrating


Grip the bar with your thumbs & index fingers first


Then from there rotate your hands in


So that your thumbs point to the ground


That bar should now rest diagonally in your hands


Between the base of your thumbs & palms (hopefully not sweaty)


Then SQUEEZE those fingertips around the bar & lock it into place

Doing this badass grip allows you to drive force directly into the bar


As it creates a straight line from bar to wrists to forearms to elbows


It also fixes a common fault I see often which is bent wrists


Bent wrists + bench press = Wrist Pain + weaker bench press

^^^^^^^^^^This is what you want to avoid ^^^^^^^^


Now it starts getting serious!


  1.     RIP The barbell apart!

Think about trying to BEND the barbell in half upwards towards the sky


Or think of it of an annoying overhanging big tree branch you want to snap in half!


This action of trying to rip the bar activates & tenses the LATS (wing-like muscles in back)


And your REAR DELTS (back of shoulders)


Which allows you to take the next step


Which is PINCH your Shoulder Blades together


This helps immensely to tighten up your position


And TIGHTNESS is everything for a heavy bench!


It also protects the shoulders from injury


Which is a common occurrence from incorrect benching technique


So when SQUEEZING those shoulder blades


Do it as if you were trying to hold a pencil between them

^Supercoach Jackie gives an excellent demonstration^


Got that?


Great now think of ROWING your shoulder blades back & SCREWING them into the bench!


And raise your CHEST UP & EXPAND your ribcage


Creating a slight arch in your back


So that I could slide my hand between your lower back & bench

All of this will lock the shoulders into the bench


And will save your shoulders


Which brings me to another point


Make sure your bum doesn’t leave the bench!


It should be clenched while keeping those feet planted & knees driven out


This makes up part of what I call the ‘FIVE POINTS OF CONTACT’


Head, Shoulders & Butt (3) should be in contact with the bench at all times


Each foot (2) should be planted into the floor


Abide these and….


You are now in position to lower the bar that is SAFER & more EFFECTIVE


Almost ready to go….


But one more important step before you get too excited

4.Inhale & Brace the Abs


Pay attention to this one


It will serve you well & can easily help you bench more


Now I want you to imagine you are newfound superhero


One of your super powers you discovered is to be able to suck up all the air out of the room


Simply by breathing it all in


Let’s call you Captain Vacuum……

Because all superheroes have a corny name of some sort


Okay, so now you decide to attempt a Bench Press testing this power


Wearing your undies on the outside of your clothes


As you do when a classy superhero


You get in that super tight position


Applying all that you have hopefully read


You then proceed to absorb all the air in the room


Simply by inhaling as much air as you can through your nostrils


And if breathing effectively…..


Making your belly rise


Like you just polished off an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet!


You also BRACE your abdominals like you are about to be punched in the stomach


Then using that hold super deep breathe & bracing of the abs


You attempt your first rep


Lowering that bar under complete superhero control


Then using all that stored energy


You explode the bar off your chest with ease


Like you are Thor when he picks up his hammer & no one else can


As silly as it sounds


You should actually be trying to do this every time you bench


Or even the other big compound movements such as the Squat or Deadlift


Don’t be that person who takes a shallow chest breath & hopes for the best


To apply effective breathing & bracing of the abdominals


It all comes down using the DIAPHRAGM effectively

If you are breathing in properly you are using your diaphragm..


What you should notice is your belly will begin to rise


Like pumping up a bike tyre….


And by filling up the lungs using your diaphragm


You can effectively BRACE & create what is known as




Which helps facilitate FORCE production


And…. CONNECTS the Upper & Lower halves of the body


Making the Bench a FULL BODY MOVEMENT


Meaning BIGGER Bench


To test yourself to see if you are breathing deep enough & effectively bracing the abs


Try the following superhero method below


Captain Vacuum’s Training

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent & flat on the floor
  2.  Place hands on sides of stomach/ribs.
  3. Create a neutral spine
  4. Inhale using your nose, while feeding pressure into the floor & out to the sides (should feel it with your hands)
  5. After fully inhaling, take one last gulp of air with your mouth
  6. Now exert pressure in a full 360 degree fashion – expanding all directions  

Can I Bench now?


You sure can


By MAXIMISING all of the above Four ways


YOU WILL be able to ADD MORE weight to the bar


Be equipped with the ammunition needed to blast through plateaus  


And as a bonus!


Help lay the foundation needed to transfer to other badass compound movements (tightness, breathing, bracing)


Remember the Bench Press is like Life


If you don’t push the weight it will fall on you


So hopefully now you can push some more weight


Give it a go & let me know how you go


Or to find out more on how to get more out of your training


Contact me




Signing off

Dave ‘Don’t Stress Bench Press’ Buck