Ferrigno Fitness Workouts Max Bench Warm Up — 1 Rep Max Bench Warm Up

Max Bench Warm Up — 1 Rep Max Bench Warm Up

Summary: When it comes to maximizing your bench press performance, warming up properly is key. A good warm-up can help prevent injury, improve range of motion, and enhance your overall lifting performance. In this article, we will discuss 5 aspects of a max bench warm-up that you should be incorporating into your routine.

1. Dynamic Stretching

Before you begin any type of physical activity, your muscles need to be warmed up and loosened up. This is especially important for bench pressing, as this exercise places a lot of stress on your chest, shoulders, and triceps. One effective way to warm up is with dynamic stretching. This involves moving your muscles through their full range of motion in a controlled manner, which helps increase blood flow and improves mobility.

A great dynamic stretch to include in your warm-up routine is the shoulder dislocation stretch. To perform this stretch, grab a resistance band or a towel with your hands placed about shoulder-width apart. Raise the band or towel overhead and slowly lower it behind your back until you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders. Reverse the movement and bring the band or towel back overhead, completing this movement for multiple repetitions.

In addition, you can also do arm circles, jumping jacks, and lunges to warm up your body and prepare for lifting heavy weights.

2. Light Weight Sets

After you have completed your warm-up with dynamic stretching, it’s time to start lifting some weights. However, you do not want to jump straight into your heaviest sets as this can lead to injury and poor lifting form. Instead, start with a few light weight sets that focus on perfecting your form and technique.

You can start with just the barbell or a very light weight, and perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. During these sets, focus on keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body and maintaining a tight core. This will help activate the proper muscles and prepare your body for heavier lifting.

It’s important to note that these light weight sets should not be exhausting or fatiguing. They are meant to prime your muscles and nervous system for heavier lifting without causing undue stress.

3. Stretching Between Sets

During your max bench press workout, you will likely be taking rest periods between sets to allow your muscles to recover. Use this time to stretch out your chest, shoulders, and triceps to maintain mobility and prevent tightness.

You can do static stretches during this time, holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds. One effective stretch is the pec fly stretch, where you stand in a doorway with your arms bent at a 90-degree angle and outstretched at shoulder height. Slowly lean into the doorway, feeling a stretch across your chest and shoulders.

Stretching between sets also helps improve blood flow to your muscles, promoting faster recovery and reducing your risk of injury.

4. Incorporate Accessory Exercises

In addition to your bench press, it’s important to incorporate accessory exercises into your warm-up to activate all the muscles needed for a successful bench press. These exercises can help correct muscle imbalances and strengthen any weak areas that may limit your performance.

Incorporating chest flyes, tricep pushdowns, and shoulder press exercises can be beneficial and help increase activation in key muscle groups while simultaneously helping you avoid injury.

It is important to keep in mind though that these exercises should be performed without risking exhaustion and fatigue before you even begin your bench sets.

5. Use Proper Breathing Techniques

Finally, breathing plays a crucial role in your max bench warm-up. It is important to take deep diaphragmatic breaths and hold them during the eccentric (lowering) phase of the lift. This helps create intra-abdominal pressure, which stabilizes your spine and improves your overall lifting performance.

You should also exhale forcefully during the concentric (pressing up) phase of the lift. This helps you maintain control over the weight, preventing it from dropping too quickly and reducing your injury risk. Breathing is a small detail that can make a big difference in your bench press performance.


A proper warm-up routine is essential for anyone who wants to improve their bench press performance. Incorporating stretches, light weight sets, accessory exercises, and breathing techniques can help activate key muscle groups, increase mobility and range of motion, and enhance your overall lifting performance. Remember, a successful max bench press starts with a solid warm-up and should always prioritize safety and technique.

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