Slamming the weight…… I don’t mean slamming the weight into the ground, I mean slamming it into your chest on the bench press. I don’t know why there are so many issues with conducting the bench using correct form. Every time I go to the gym I see people, not locking out the press, not touching their chests, asses 2 feet of the bench, feet moving all over the place,worst of all people slamming down on their sternums.
Today I want to talk about slamming the weight into your chest on the bench press. Surprisingly, the biggest issue with this is not the obvious damage that you will do to your sternum. It is instead the loss of control you receive by doing this. It is impossible to stay tight at the bottom of the bench press if you bring the weight down with uncontrollable speed. In the short term, It will likely allow you to move more weight, however, if you try to start pausing the press you will see a pretty steep dropoff in the amount of weight you can move. Additionally, it will become increasingly more difficult to progress in this remit.
Moreover, the most significant issue presented by slamming the weight into your chest is shoulder or elbow injury. Moving a weight you can’t safely handle is far more likely to cause you injury, your form will continue to get worse and it is likely to raise more issues. Furthermore, It is really difficult to utilize leg drive and keep your butt on the bench while using this technique.
Clearly, bouncing weight of your chest is going to provide you benefit in the short term, however, that is all that you will gain in the long term you will plateau in the same way as anyone else.
How can you resolve this? Well to start with we need to ensure that you have a solid base from which to push from, this applies in two respects. Initially, you must find a pair of shoes that provide you with grip, on the floor. Then you need to find a way that allows you to dig your shoulders into the bench fully, this could be wearing a grippy t-shirt, equipping your bench with bands or knee wraps or just finding a setup method that allows you to dig into the bench. Once you are firmly attached to the bench you need to set a solid arch so that you can reduce the range of motion and increase your relative strength.
In addition, other suggestions I have for improving this issue is to start training with variations such as the Spoto press (See how)which focuses on building control with the weight, feet up benching which can help you build stability and incline which helps you become stronger in the upper portion of the movement. You can check out the CSS Upper Focused Program which includes a lot of these exercises to help you improve in this facet.
My aim in these posts is simply to dispel some myths that surround strength training so I hope I was able to provide you with some value! So keep training hard and remember Strength has no Limit!