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Try this bench press variation for added benefits...

Walk into any gym and inevitably you will see at least one person doing the bench press exercise. Especially if it’s a Monday night which seems to be ‘chest day’. This entails lying on a bench length-wise with head, neck, shoulders, back and hips all supported on a bench while pressing a weight from the chest. The primary muscles worked include the pectorals and triceps. Secondary muscles used include the anterior or front deltoids, traps, and back. However, what if you want to recruit more muscles into the exercise? Enter the T-bench chest press. T-bench press description Dr. Joel Seedman has written about this variation for the chest press and its benefits. Since reading the article I’ve been incorporating it into my training. First, let’s describe what it is as the set up is slightly different than the traditional bench press. As you will see demonstrated in the video, instead of lying length-wise on the bench, you lay perpendicular to the bench or width-wise to it so you make a ’T’. Shoulders are resting on the bench, the head, neck, and hips are not touching the bench and are unsupported. Key points. T-bench press benefits This position forces you to support more of your body and contract your posterior chain from head to toe. Essentially you are holding an isometric glute bridge throughout the exercise. This position forces you into cervical elongation which is good for the spine. The elbows and triceps touch the bench at a stopping point, similar to a floor press. Shoulders are not 'allowed’ to drop down which is helpful in preventing shoulder injuries which may occur with traditional bench press. T-bench press steps:

  • Set up on a bench width-wise with a dumbbell on either side of you

  • With dumbbells in hand, rest shoulders on bench and raise your hips so they are in line with your shoulders

  • Begin pressing the dumbbells with your elbows going only as far as the bench

  • Repeat 8 to 12 times for 3 to 4 sets

Summary of benefits:

  • Allows for proper cervical elongation

  • The hips are off the bench forcing you to hold and isometric glute bridge throughout the exercise - glute activation

  • The stopping point for elbows and triceps keeps one from over-stretching in the bottom position

I’ve been doing this variation for a couple of weeks. What I enjoy about it is that it forces you to pay attention to your mechanics and feeling the other muscles fire i.e. glutes, is bonus. Give this chest press variation a try. Make sure you engage your glutes. Begin with a lighter weight to start until you feel comfortable with it. If you want to be sure you can use a bench, you may not want to do this exercise on Mondays... Did you missed last week’s newsletter on my workout with 80 and 90 somethings…? To your journey,

Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness P.S. Check out my Facebook page for inspiration. P.P.S. Discover GreenNote Fitness recommendations for recovery, supplements, protein bars & powders, nutrition, equipment, books and more. **Do you have a friend that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them!**

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