3 Technique Tips to INSTANTLY Increase Your Bench Press

It ‘s no surprise search engines are bombarded with the question “how to increase your bench press?”. The movement is so pervasive in gym culture that everyone and their mother are out looking for tips to improve their answer to the omnipresent question…how much ya bench?

Here are 3 quick and easy technique tips to increase your bench press today!

Tip 1. Increase your Bench Press Frequency

This is a universal tip that will work for ANY lift.

If you increase the number of times you train a lift per week you, you are almost guaranteed to increase your progress. For bench press this can be especially effective because most individuals have the ability to train this movement extremely frequently.

While lower body movements like the squat and dead lift can be more demanding and limit individuals to only  2 to 3 training sessions per week, you will see upper level athletes who are training the bench press 4 to 5 times per week. All while sustaining zero injuries, and increasing their bench press strength at the same time.

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to jump immediately into benching 5 days a week, especially if you are only benching once per week currently.

Simply start by adding one additional bench session to your weekly training and running it out for a few weeks to see how you feel and work from there. Basic progression would be to use the minimal amount of bench training sessions per week where you still see progress. So if you are benching twice a week and seeing progress stay there, once that stops being the case you can consider adding an additional day.

You may be surprise yourself by how often you can train bench and not overtrain/injure yourself!

Tip 2. Try a Wider Grip

There’s a reason the wide grip bench press is so commonly employed by power lifters to lift the most amount of weight humanly possible.

It works.

When we widen our grip we are effectively reducing the range of motion of the movement and there can be a drastic difference in how easy or hard a press feels simply by cutting an inch or two off the ROM.

So what’s the catch?

Many individuals find they don’t enjoy wide grip benching because it can feel uncomfortable or just downright painful. This problem is only exacerbated when someone tries to jump directly from a netural/narrow grip into a wide power lifting style grip.

Here’s how you get around this.

Instead of jumping right into a wide grip bench, try increasing the width of your bench over the course of multiple weeks. Widen it by an inch and stay there for 4 weeks. If it’s comfortable widen it again and progress for another 4 weeks. Repeat this process until you achieve a a grip that is both wide enough to reduce ROM, but comfortable enough to be sustainable.

While you may currently claim you’re just a “tricep dominant” bencher and close grip works better for you, I promise if you take the time to develop a wider grip you’ll realize how big of a difference small range of motion change can make in how heavy something feels.

Now you’re probably asking “isn’t that just cheating?” Well much like the arching in the bench press, I guess that’s up to what your definition of cheating is. As far as sport lifting goes, power lifting allows for a wide grip so long as your forefingers remain in contact with the rings on a standard power bar.

Tip 3. Learn PROPER Leg drive

A lot of people associate bench press as a chest builder or at most just an upper body movement. But in truth there are a lot of extra lbs you are missing out on if you aren’t properly using your entire body to bench.

The usual goal of all bench press related techniques is getting as tight of a position on the bench as possible and our legs can help us out with this.

Instead of letting your feet dance around on the floor or even worse lifting them up and letting them leave earth’s atmosphere completely…think about driving them hard into the ground throughout the entire movement. What you’re imagining is you are trying to push yourself off the backside of the bench NOT pushing yourself up.

I.e. if there wasn’t a heavy barbell holding you down you would actually slide off the backside of the bench. Don’t let yourself fall into the habit of getting lazy with your legs in the bench press. They are there to help, use them. At the very least develop a good habit now and DON’T LET YOUR FEET LEAVE THE GROUND!

Start employing all three of these technique tips today and you’ll be well on your when to increasing your bench press!

For even more bench tips check out this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiD7FVXdKHs

Matt Molloy

Matt Molloy

I'm a graduate the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Exercise Science. I’m a local guy (North Penn) and athletics has dominated my life. I've led teams in basketball, baseball, soccer, golf and my passion, long distance running. I've been strength training for 6 years with a focus in power-lifting but have recently stretched to strongman since joining the pride here at the Den. When I’m not in the gym I enjoy, spending time with my friends, music, and relaxing and playing some video games.