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Inwards-Pulling Band Bench Press... Can't Feel Your Pecs Working When You Bench? This Will Fix It...

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One of the things missing from the barbell bench press is real inwards-pulling tension on the pectoral muscles. When you push the bar up, you do get SOME inwards-pulling tension but because the hands are fixed onto the bar, they can't come across the chest, which is what the main function of the pec is.

So the barbell bench is an exercise that really isn't all that efficient at hitting the pecs and a lot of people really have a hard time feeling their chest working when they bench.

This exercise is going to help fix that.

You're going to use training bands to apply outwards-pulling tension on your arms, forcing your pecs to contract to pull inwards against the band tension, doing exactly what the pecs are supposed to be doing.

This dramatically ramps up the tension on the pecs and turns the exercise into a much more efficient chest-builder.

To do this one, you'll need a set of training bands. Click here to see where I got my training bands from.

In the demo, I'm using some light/medium tension bands - dark blue and that was plenty. You could even rig something up with cheapo bungee cords from the hardware store (just be very careful they don't break and snap you in the face!).

So here's a shot of how you're going to set up the bands...just basically fold it in half then set it on the end of the bar.

If you're doing these in the power rack, you'll have to set the safety rails lower so that the bands don't contact the rails. Use a weight you KNOW you can handle and stay away from failure. Better to do this version in the "free" bench with a spotter, to be honest.

Lean over and loop the ends of one band around your wrist (you won't be holding the band in your hands - it'll be looped around your wrist).

Then reach over and put your hand through the other band loops.

Set your hands on the bar as you normally would then unrack the bar. It's going to take a bit of experimenting to get the setup right but it's worth it! If you're using longer bands, you may need to figure out a way to wrap the ends around the barbell a few more times to shorten them up. The key concept here is the inwards pulling tension on your forearms to get greater pec activation.

Lower the bar down then press back up.

As you press up, THAT is when you'll notice the band tension more. The pecs are getting double-duty, keeping the hands from sliding out due to band tension pulling directly outwards and pressing the bar up.

This is a nice way to force the pecs to do more work when pressing and if you've got bands, definitely give this one a try!

 


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