From Fitness and Power:
The bench press is often used to measure a guy’s power.How many times did you hear the question: "How much can you bench press?".Anyone that is more experienced in weightlifting knows that the bench press is no measurement for someones power, but it can be an great exercise to measure someones upper body strength.
Here are six tips that will help you to increase your bench press:
1.Correct grip width
Your grip may help you or destroy your bench press.Closer grip will work more your triceps and shoulders than your chest.Wider grip will do quite the opposite - your pectoral muscles will do most of the work.Just the right grip will recruit your shoulders,chest muscles and triceps and will give you the greatest pressing power.Lower the bar until it touches your chest.In this position the forearms should be perfectly vertical if you want to generate more pressing power.
Inhale deeply while lowering the bar, inflating your chest as much as possible.This will shorten the distance the bar has to pass and increase your torso stability.As you press the bar off your chest don’t immediately blow out all your air. That will destabilize the chest and weaken the base you’re pushing from.Instead blow your air out through pursed lips.This will keep your torso stable while lifting the bar.
3.Work on your back
The lats are greatly responsible for keeping the bar in its path, and keeping the upper body tight to promote a solid base for muscular contraction.Wider back equals wider and more stable base that can support more weight.The second thing you need to work on is the back thickness.Thicker back means shorter distance the bar will travel.
4.Squeeze the shoulder blades together
When you squeeze the shoulder blades you'll find out that you’re not only more stable on the bench but your shoulders are in a stronger pressing position your torso is a little thicker.This will also shorten the distance the bar travels.
Pressing with your legs can help you tremendously when you are in the bottom bench press position.You actually use your legs to slide yourself up the bench. But because the weight is holding you down, that force helps push the weight up.
6.Using chains in your training
The purpose of chains in the bench press is to build speed in the bottom position of the bench press. As we lower the bar to our chest the chains should role into a pile on the floor. As you press the bar up, the chains come off the floor with the bar making the weight heavier.
Remember, you have to watch out NOT to ovretrain,eat right, and get plenty of rest if you want to increase your bench press or improve any other exercise.