“How much do you bench” is one of the most commonly asked questions amongst males in any typical gym.
This is probably because every guy wants that alpha male chest and bench press is the “best” way to get a bigger chest, right?
What is the best pressing exercise, then?
Bench pressing with a barbell is not the best exercise selection in terms of pec recruitment.
Nor, as many a broken lifter can attest to, is it the best exercise in terms of shoulder health.
If you are a powerlifter then you need to bench press regularly, as it is part of the sport.
Although I’m guessing, like me, many of you out there are not competitive powerlifters, so what could, or should, you be doing as an alternative?
Far too many people overlook the push up as a beginner exercise, one that they can do tonnes of repetitions of before reaching fatigue.
But the reality is that you can modify the push up in so many ways that it can fit virtually any rep range or ability.
Believe me, it is not just for beginners.
Why are push ups so great?
The push up gives you far more bang for your buck than a DB or BB bench press.
1) They teach you to maintain tightness through the entire body. When done well you should be tight in the glutes and the abs, which in turn will stop you from leaving your hips behind at the bottom.
2) They are far better for shoulder health, as your shoulder blades are not pinned against a bench allowing them to move freely around the rib cage.
3) They teach you to keep a good head posture by tucking the chin and it whilst squeezing the glutes helps reinforce a posterior pelvic tilt, which benefits just about all of us.
Here is a video showing how to correctly perform a push up and how we regress a push up for people who don’t posses the strength to do the full push up.
The options when it comes to progressions are virtually limitless.
- Elevated your feet on a bench and put your hands on either kettlebells or dumbbells. This will shift some of the emphasis to the shoulders and is a great substitute for incline presses.
- Add external resistance, such as bands, chains, kettlebells, weighted vest, plates, a washing machine etc.
- Single leg push ups which challenge your core in an anti rotation fashion
- Hindu Push ups
- Spiderman Push ups
- You can even add push ups that include a mobility aspect to your warm up, things like Yoga push ups or T-Push ups are great options.
If that isn’t enough justification to add any of these push up variations to your programme, you may just turn into another gym goer with a “dodgy” shoulder.
You have been warned.
Contact us on 0203 489 5428 or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about training at W10 Performance.