The bench press is a technical lift and once you start lifting heavier weights, staying in the groove and keeping your form on point is hard.

I want to share with you 2 steps to instantly increase your bench press and get you pressing more weight than you thought you ever could.

Building a bigger bench press can be difficult and adding weight to the bar each workout is fine… but what happens when you plateau?

Tip 1: Squeeze the bar

I don’t just mean hold the bar tightly, I mean squeeze it like you were falling off of a cliff.

I want your forearms to pump up and hurt after the workout; I guarantee that you will bench more when you squeeze the bar.

I don’t know how many times I see people who do not squeeze the bar when they are pressing and you can see them even open their hands slightly on lockout.

This is an amateur mistake and can be remedied… but it will take time and awareness of what you are doing.

When you squeeze the bar, you are creating a full body tightness which carries over to a better bench press.

Try this:

Simply hold your hands out in front of you, bench press grip apart and squeeze the shit out of your hands like you are holding onto the bar.

I bet you noticed your delts, lats, biceps, triceps, and chest start to get pumped.

From your warmup sets to your last working set I want you to squeeze the shit out of the bar.

You are going to notice an instant change in how you feel when pressing.

Tip 2: Take a breath

Take a breath! I mean it, take as big of a breath as you possibly can down into your belly and hold it.

Intra-abdominal pressure is so important to lifting more weight and preventing injury; from squats to barbell rows, keeping a tight core is extremely important.

Next time you are in the gym watch someone benching and see how loose his body is. Losing your tightness is going to throw you out of your groove and cost you pounds on your press.

If you’ve ever heard of an elite lifter saying he lost his tightness, more than likely it was due to not being able to get in a big enough breath.

Whoever said you have to breathe in when lowering the bar and breathe out when pressing doesn’t quite understand how to press big weights.

Sure, a lot of people will breathe out with force during a rep which is fine, but don’t start your rep loose.

Try this:

Just like before, put your arms in front of you like you were benching, take the biggest breath you can and watch your belly expand from your diaphragm.

Next, squeeze your abs and clench your hands like they are holding onto the bar. You’re going to notice how extremely rigid and powerful you feel.

Bingo, you’ve essentially figured out how to instantly increase your bench press.

Conclusion

I would highly suggest taking a week and practicing your new pressing skills before you try to PR with these techniques. They are simple to try, but habits trump when you have some heavy weight in your hands.

I promise you that implementing these 2 tips will instantly increase your bench press.

 

If you’ve found these tips helpful, let me know how it’s helped in the comment section!