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with less problems in the shoulder. The medial head of the tricep is the main part of the muscle that needs to be developed. It’s easy to see a big bencher by looking at the amount of tricep muscle they have right around the elbow, rather than up higher in the lateral and long head of the muscle. That’s why it is important (as you will see in the program development chapter) that triceps are trained hard, heavy, and often. Many times triceps need to be built into the warm-up, the accessory work, and sometimes mini-workouts to increase potentiating of the muscle group in the movement. This is how bench is taught out of most text books and coaching staff (IT’S WRONG) Prepared exclusively for [email protected]Transaction: 2038
185Tricep strength is also key in maintaining a proper bar path while benching. This bar path should be as close to a straight line as possible. This linear path keeps the elbows the primary workhorse. It does not mean that the bench press will necessarily move in a perfect straight line, but it will ensure that your muscles are activating correctly. The reason that most people don’t advocate this is that it takes time to learn how to bench correctly, and the shoulder and pec tend to be stronger in the beginning stages of training. But as the tricep gains strength (and leverage as the medial head grows), then the bench form will change. The Lats Lats play a vital role in the bench press. Lats are what help the shoulders stabilize, and also aid in a proper bar path. Without lat strength and tightness, the pecs and shoulders can overpower the lift and cause form to breakdown. Prepared exclusively for [email protected]Transaction: 2038
186Over the long run the lats and triceps save the shoulder from being put in awkward, and dangerous positions. Over time, this leads to big strength gains and little to no injuries. Although lat training has been downplayed in many circles for the bench press, I firmly believe that their secondary role is next to none in the development of the upper boy. Performing the Bench Press Setup: As stated above, the body should be locked from head to toe before the handout occurs. Legs should be driving into the ground, glutes should be tight and flexed, lats should be squeezed and shoulder blades should be retracted. The handout:The handout person should hand out strong and steady putting the bar over the chest usually slightly below nipple level, depending on your arch. This allows the bar to descend in a straight path. Hands are squeezed and tight the entire time. The locked position: This is important to stabilize the bar and allow the weight to settle after being repositioned off the rack into your hands. This becomes more important the stronger you become, as weights rolling on the bar can affect stability and control of the descent.