by Mike Scialabba

There are a million and one ways to increase the strength of your bench, however sometimes, getting far away from the actual bench, may be one of the many great ways in order to do so.

There are two exercises that I find critical for the average bench presser seeking bigger numbers.

The Floor Press and the Lying DB Extension

The Floor Press

This exercise forces better eccentric control of the loaded barbell, and seriously aids in developing a little more raw power, removing the 'stretch reflex' and forcing the triceps and chest to work from a dead stop.

How to do it:

Situate yourself on the floor outside of a cage or half rack. Adjust the pins in order to allow yourself to properly unrack and rerack the bar independently, while still having enough room to execute the movement as you would the normal bench press.

Pull the shoulder blades tight together and keep the fixated on the floor. Pull the bar down toward the body, stopping when the triceps are fully against the floor. Once you've achieved a 'dead stop', fire the load towards the rack as hard as possible.

Things to Remember:

Don't bounce your triceps off the floor, and be sure to come all the way down. Also, make sure you're not 'relaxing' when the triceps are against the floor. It's imperative that you stay engaged and ready to rock throughout every second of this movement.

Work with ranges anywhere from 60-80% of your current bench press 1RM.


The Lying DB Tricep Extension

It's not that often that I recommend an isolation exercise, but this one I just can't resist. The dynamic of the motion stimulates a tremendous amount of tissue within the triceps, and can aid increase stability of the elbow, which of course we need when it comes to a great bench press.

How to do it:

Lie flat on your back with a db in each hand. Hold the dumbbells directly over your face, with the palms facing each other. Keeping the elbows exactly where they are, lower the dumbbells towards the ears, and extend them back up. Simple.

Things to Remember:

Do not move your elbows! Don't open them up, allow them to separate, drop them back, or draw them forward.

Also, don't be dumb. If it hurts, or you're suffering from some type of nagging elbow injury, this will not make it better. Don't do the exercise.

Start with easy, low intensity loads, and as the elbows become more accustom to the movement, increase the intensity. Stick to about 8 reps with this exercise.



This exclusive article (and others) can be found in the latest Wannabebig Serious About Muscle Newsletter - October 28th, 2010

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