Summary: Bench pressing is a popular exercise among weight lifters and fitness enthusiasts. However, in order to prevent injury and improve performance, it’s important to properly warm up before hitting your maximum bench press weight. In this article, we will discuss 5 key aspects of bench max warm up to help you get the most out of your training and avoid common mistakes.
1. Begin with Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching involves moving through a range of motion while actively engaging your muscles. This type of stretching is ideal for warming up the muscles and preparing them for exercise. Before starting your bench press workout, take some time to perform dynamic stretches that specifically target the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Here are a few examples for each:
Chest: Arm circles, chest flies using resistance bands
Shoulders: Shoulder rolls, arm swings, scapular push-ups
Triceps: Tricep extensions using dumbbells or a resistance band, tricep pushdowns
2. Use Light Weights to Work Up to Your Max
It’s never a good idea to start your bench press workout with your maximum weight. Instead, start with a weight that is significantly lower than your max and gradually work your way up. This will help your muscles to gradually adjust to the weight and prevent injury. Try the following sets:
Set 1: 50-60% of your max for 10 reps
Set 2: 60-70% of your max for 6 reps
Set 3: 70-80% of your max for 3 reps
3. Incorporate Plyometric Exercises to Improve Explosiveness
Plyometric exercises involve explosive movements that help to build power and speed. By incorporating plyometric exercises into your bench max warm up, you can improve explosiveness and increase your maximum bench press weight. Some examples of plyometric exercises you can do before your bench press workout include:
Medicine ball chest passes, clap push-ups, medicine ball push-ups, explosive chest throws
4. Practice Proper Technique
Proper technique is crucial for getting the most out of your bench press workout and preventing injury. Make sure to always keep your feet flat on the ground, use a grip that’s comfortable for your shoulders, and keep your elbows in close to your body. Additionally, as you bring the bar down towards your chest, make sure to keep your elbows pointed towards your hips rather than out to the sides.
Another thing to focus on is pushing with your legs. While it’s called a bench “press,” effective bench pressing actually requires the use of your legs as well. By planting your feet firmly on the ground and driving through your legs, you can create a stable base that allows you to generate more force with each rep.
5. Don’t Forget About Cool-Down
A proper bench max warm up isn’t complete without a cool-down period at the end. Take some time to stretch out your chest, shoulders, and triceps once your workout is finished. This will help to prevent muscle soreness and reduce your risk of injury. Additionally, make sure to hydrate and eat a nutritious meal within an hour or so after your workout to help your muscles recover properly.
Incorporating these 5 aspects into your bench max warm up can help you to prevent injury, improve performance, and get the most out of your workout. By beginning with dynamic stretching, using light weights to work up to your max, incorporating plyometric exercises, practicing proper technique, and not forgetting about cool-down, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your maximum bench press weight in no time.