Hammer Strength Bench Press Overview
The machine bench press is a variation of the barbell bench press used to strengthen the muscles of the chest. It will also indirectly target the muscles of the shoulders and triceps.
One would use the machine bench press as a way to perform the pressing movement pattern with a focus on isolating the chest. One can better isolate certain muscle groups with a machine due to its fixed movement pattern.
The machine bench press is best added towards the end of your chest workout if you are training for hypertrophy, after you’ve used other more compound variations to work your push muscles.
Hammer Strength Bench Press Instructions
- Sit on the end of the bench and lie back with the handles just below shoulder height. The handles should mimic the position of the bar when benching.
- Position your palms on the handles, inhale, and set your shoulder blades together on the bench.
- Press the handles to extension as you exhale but keep the shoulder blades packed.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Hammer Strength Bench Press Tips
- Many lifters use a thumbless grip with this machine variation as they feel it is easier to keep tension through the pecs and triceps rather than having to worry about squeezing the bar excessively tight.
- Squeezing the handles tightly instead of using a thumbless grip can help to improve a phenomenon known as “irradiation” which promotes greater shoulder stability.
- Keep your shoulder blades pinched together to ensure the shoulders remain in a safe position.
- Imagine you’re trying to push yourself away from the weights rather than pushing the weights away from yourself.
- If you’re feeling pain within the shoulder joint itself (specifically at the front), ensure your shoulder blades are slightly retracted and try to keep the shoulder girdle “packed”.
- Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to excessive arch.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor and don’t allow the lower body to move during the set.