5 Exercises to Supplement the Bench Press
The bench press is one of my favorite exercises – I always want to keep my bench progressing and my chest growing. To do that, benching at a high frequency helps but sometimes you need to throw in supporting exercises to break plateaus – in this article I’ll share 5 exercises to use to supplement the growth of your bench press and chest.
A logical exercise to supplement the bench are dips – here depending on your angle and style of dip you’ll be working your chest, triceps, and shoulders. These are all vital components of the benchpress that will help you boost off your chest, and finish the upper part of the lift providing the extra tricep development you need.
I like this exercise as a bench supplement because it ties all of the muscle groups that the bench uses in an exercise at different angles, and it’s often performed at higher reps. Use a dip belt to stack up the weight and give you the resistance you need.
Related: Best Muscle Building Supplements
Close Grip Bench Press
Focusing more on the triceps and your bench lockout comes the close-grip bench. Everything you do here is almost directly transferable to the bench so reap the rewards of this one. Hit this exercise up especially if you struggle with lockout and triceps development.
Incline dumbbell press
Another perfectly transferable exercise is the incline db press. This focuses on the top and upper chest which is essential for getting a good chest squeeze and finishing out each rep. It also develops good stability in the smaller muscles due to using dumbbells instead of a barbell. Whether it’s incline, flat, or decline – always mix a dumbbell chest exercise into your routine to support the bench.
Rows are a complimentary movement to the bench – working on your upper back strength allows increased tightness in the upper back while benching which = a bigger bench. Rowing also works on building upper back muscle, lat muscle, and lat strength – which gives you a strong platform to bench off of.
Keeping the shoulders healthy and strong is essential to benching a lot of weight. Do your shoulder presses whether standing, seated, barbell, or dumbbell to ensure the longevity of your shoulders and progression of your bench press.
A few more tips
For a few more tips on the bench, if you want to be increasing your bench and chest size at the fastest rate then you need to be bulking. Benching is something that can be built with strength and technique but I find a caloric surplus and extra body weight is just as critical.
If you’re going to use wrist wraps for benching, use them properly. Wrap them around the bottom of the hand, and far down the wrist to anchor everything together. Don’t rely on them all the time and rotate them out of your sets every two weeks or so to continue developing your hand and wrist strength.
Always use a spotter! You either can’t push yourself safely, or if you do push yourself without a spotter then you risk injury. Ask a friend or someone in the gym – I don’t know anyone who would say no.
Happy benching – hopefully these tips and exercises keep you crushing the bench and growing like a beast!