I was asked a fascinating question the other day; some individuals were looking to know if I could clarify the point about deltoid (shoulder) dominant benching and bringing up your chest and how to recruit your chest better when performing an assortment of presses.
If you have a lagging chest correct incline pressing both with dumbbells and barbells is a fantastic tool to sort that out. But like with any other press it is the right execution of the movement that matters.
Some people will say they have mind muscle connection and it’s really annoying to me.
Mind muscle connection just means that you have learned to move your body, your muscles, and your bones, through the proper range of motion and tempo in order to really feel and stimulate the target muscles. But that is what we are talking about here.
Basics And What You Need To Know.
If you bench press properly and consistently, you shouldn’t really have a lagging chest; this applies to most people except you have genetic issues, and you need extra focus on it.
Mistakes people make is that they do not get pulled back correctly in the scapular retraction and the best way to do that is to set your traps on the bench, not your back.
Get your shoulder blades pinched together, even pinch your arms up a little bit. Get your traps tight, scapular pinched together and set those on the bench; they should never come up hard when you are bench pressing unless you are a power lifter.
I would say if you are not a competitive powerlifter that requires maximum lockout strength, your scapular should never go apart but they should still be ultra tight at the bottom.
If you are performing it purely for chest hypotrophy, you need to keep them as tightly retracted as you can even if they lockout.
The other mistake people make with barbell work is that they touch and go where they bounce. What you really want to do is to come down and pause, you should never do touch and go benching.
If you notice your chest is lagging you need to let the bar sink into your chest, sinked in really deep with your scapular pulled all the way back, you should let it drop in almost till it hurts.
Do not try to stop the bar an inch off or do any touching, bouncing or any of that. It’s the reason your chest is lagging on the bench press.
With dumbbells we run into a similar issue, people want to flare them way out wide, and that destroys your shoulders.
But the same thing applies, you want to get all the way down, and you want to get a stretch reflex at the bottom.
So when performing any sort of dumbells benching you want a fuller range of motion than you normally have with the barbells and that is the primary or significant advantage the dumbells offer, in fact, that is the only efficient benefit they offer, as they let you go deeper so to get that deeper stretch at the bottom.
It’s all about keeping the scapula retracted and working the bottom of the movement, putting your effort there and making sure that you get that deep stretch in the full range of motion at the bottom.
And by keeping the scapular retracted, it puts a more in-depth strength at the packs.
And those are the two keys to pressing correctly, anybody who isn’t doing those things and still has great packs is probably genetically blessed in the chest region.
And if you have a lagging chest I can guarantee you nine out of ten times that it is one of those issues. It’s either you do not have the scapular retracted, or you aren’t focusing enough on the bottom of the movement.
So you are either pausing and getting in deep with the barbell or getting that deep stretch at the lower part with the dumb bells.
Finally, I’ll like to add that most people can develop a chest that is good enough to win Bodybuilding shows and competitions without having to do flies If they learn to use their presses correctly.
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