If you’re wondering “Why does my bench press feel weak“? then read this. Unquestionably, one of the most well-liked workouts in the gym is the bench press.
Anyone who has ever worked out has (or is) a bench press. Bench press and OHP are exercises to assess upper body strength and bring the best muscle development effect.
If you are a beginner, this article is for you if you feel weak in the bench press. Study the technique and posture of the bench press and practice it day in and day out, progress is evident.
However, if you’ve been training for about a year and are having trouble lifting weights on the bench press, refer to the following diagnostics to determine your weakness in this “national” exercise and have a suitable solution.
Why Does My Bench Press Feel Weak?
First of all, the technique is the foundation of training. Make sure you’ve equipped yourself with a good training technique before trying to fix your weakness in this bench-press exercise.
Weaknesses often appear at three stages that the bar goes through:
- Bottom point
- Top point
- Interval of motion
Let’s find out where your weaknesses lie to find ways to overcome them below.
Weak at the bottom point
If you have difficulty pushing the bar from your chest back to the starting position of the bench press or can only make a small distance and then lose strength and drop the weight, you have a problem.
It should be noted that this diagnosis is only valid if you fail at this point when trying to lift weights with small weights.
For example, if you can bench well at 80kg but have difficulty and cannot bench at 82-84kg, the following speculations should help. However, if you go from 80kg to 100-120 and are weak at the bottom, the only thing to do is lower the weight and your ego.
- Weak anterior delt is related to shoulder flexion (bringing arms out in front of chest). Therefore, your shoulders may be soft when you have problems with the movement of pushing the bar away from your wardrobe.
- Bar path, many people lower the bar to the chest (or below the trunk) to shorten the range of motion (ROM). This is fine if you have strong shoulders, but trying to lower the bar so that the bar hits the spot 1-2 inches below the sternum is not something everyone can do. This problem can be due to technique; fixing it is relatively simple: refrain from pressing the elbows into the body too much and lower the bar to lightly touch the chest at a slightly higher position than usual.
- Weak chest, when you lower the bar to a position about 1-2 inches below your sternum, then feel apparent difficulty when trying to reduce the bar a little higher in the chest, most likely Your breasts are not strong enough.
- Weak triceps, remember one of the findings from the EMG study was that triceps activation increased faster than chest activation when weights were added to the bar. Therefore, improving the backhand will be one of the ways to solve the low point in the bottom position.
How to fix
Strengthening the pectoral muscle group and using unique training methods will help you overcome this weakness.
- Pause bench press: This variation removes the elastic force at the bottom of the exercise. This puts more pressure on the pectoral muscles and will gradually strengthen you at this point of the movement. Apply lighter weight than usual and stop at the bottom for a few seconds.
- Wide grip bench press: In this exercise, you will hold wider than usual (about 1.5-2 times shoulder width). This variation helps put more pressure on the pectorals on the bench. However, it is also more prone to injury in the shoulder joint, so special attention is needed. People with poor shoulder flexibility should consider exercising.
- Feet up bench press: This exercise removes the lower body from participating in the movement by placing your feet on the chair. Besides, it prevents you from arching high when bench pressing. This will make your chest muscles work harder.
- Dumbbell bench press: The pectoral muscles will have a more excellent range of motion on this exercise than the barbell. If chest muscles are your priority, dumbbells would be a better choice.
- Chest fly: Very effective exercise to isolate the pectoral muscle group.
Weak at the top of the Bench Press:
- Position of the elbows: when pushing the chest, you should move the elbows to the sides and tend to rotate the shoulders inward. Turning inward occurs naturally when we bring our elbows to the side when pushing the bar up or down to the chest. If you are weak at the top, you should consider the position of the elbow; the two elbows should point to the sides, pointing to the opposite side. If you’re used to bringing your elbows forward, just being mindful of pushing slightly to the sides as you approach the lockout position, finishing a bench press rep will be easier.
- You need to improve your chest more: if changing your elbow position still doesn’t make your lockout smooth, try other ways to strengthen your chest and back arms.
How to fix
At this point, the triceps do the main job. If you’re having trouble locking out, improving triceps strength is critical.
- Close grip bench press: This variation will work mainly on the backhand. The feature of the exercise is that you can do the heavy lifting and its movement is quite similar to the bench press. In addition, a Floor press or Board press is also a suitable choice.
- They are accommodating Resistance: Using a band or leash to increase the weight at the top of the exercise.
- Bench press with Slingshot: The Slingshot is a large band to support you during the bench press. Slingshot creates elastic tension at the bottom point of the movement. You can use larger weights to focus on the lockout phase without overloading your chest or shoulders.
- There are also many other exercises to strengthen the back arms, such as skull crusher, tricep pushdown, and overhead tricep extension.
Middle of the Bench Press weak:
- The bar path is incorrect. With the bench press, the bar path is precisely when you direct the bar toward your face as you push it off your chest instead of straight up, which unnecessarily lifts a rugged towel, especially for the shoulder joint.
- You are not strong enough to carry that weight, if you are sure that the bar path is good, the technique is good, and you have problems in the middle, it is most likely just because your chest and back arms are not strong enough. Candles lower the weight and the volume, or you can adjust the tempo and observe the change.
How to fix
At this point, the strength of the anterior shoulder muscles plays an important role. Here are exercises that can help you overcome this weakness :
- Incline bench press: Pushing the chest with the chair uphill will work more on the anterior shoulder muscles. In addition, this variation is almost identical to the bench press exercise. So it can help you easily overcome your weakness.
- Overhead press variations: These are excellent exercises to help you build strength and muscle in the shoulder muscle group.
- Dead bench press: You will have to set up the bar on the battery. This point is about 2-3cm above the chest and starts pushing at that dead point. The benefit of the exercise is that it removes the elastic force of the muscle and forces your body to learn to mobilize more muscle fibres at that point. The dead bench press needs to be performed one rep at a time.
- Spoto press: In this variation, you must pause at a point about 2-3 cm above the chest. It lengthens the period the muscle at your weak end is under stress. Note that you must keep your body tight throughout the movement and use lighter weights than usual.
As I stated in the article’s introduction, the technique is what you need to do when bench pressing; if you are not in the three vulnerable groups I mentioned, you need to review your plan. Is it right?
The most basic technique we all know is:
- Lie on a flat chair, feet on the floor.
- Remove the dumbbells from the rack with straight arms.
- Bring it down to the middle of your chest.
- Push it back up straight (Lockout)
- Keep your butt on the chair
In short, it’s just that, but if it’s that simple, there’s not much to say here.
It takes a few months if it takes fast, and it takes 1-2 years to master how to increase size so with this said don’t just simplify it but be serious when doing the bench press.
You need a thorough strategy to help you overcome the weakness of Benchpress. However, your task is to find where you are weak before that. I hope this article will help you install more weights on the bar in this Bench Press exercise.