Wednesdays: Work on Your Weakness 001: Improving Your Bench Press

Wednesdays: Work on Your Weakness 001: Improving Your Bench Press

We are with Lester Hernandez, Director of South Sherbrook Fitness in Winnipeg and the Founder of the Underdog Training Method.

In the fist instalment of this series we talk about how to warm-up your shoulders and how to stabilize them during your bench press. What's even more important: we talk about why shoulder stability is important to begin with.

The main topics we discuss: scapular retraction and depression; engagement of lats; maintenance of tension on your bar and effective ways to unrack the bar to maintain shoulder position.

The warm-ups and cuing that we go over are ones that can be used to get you ready for bench pressing.

During the bench press - as with many other movements that involve the shoulder joint - understanding the function of your shoulder needs to come first. From this point, we begin to understand why we must actively stabilize it and why we need to perform particular warmups to ensure it can perform optimally.

What is Active Stabilization? Active stabilization refers to the roles that muscles play when contract to control joint movement. Passive Stabilization refers to role the ligaments and other supporting play in joint stability.

Active Stabilization requires muscle activation. Those muscles that we activate may or may not be used to actively working in this capacity because we have not sought out to have them perform in this way and for an extended period of time. Consequently, they will fatigue and stability during that particular movement will be compromised.

 Be conscious of this and when your stability reduces, stop the exercise. Our goal is topractice maintaining a strong position while under load. Developing the ability to perform safe and stabilized movements will develop.

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