What is a Board Press
In a board press, the lifter places 1 -5, inch thick boards on the chest, the boards are kept in place by a strap or a dedicated spotter in addition to the other spotters the lifter may have. The bar is lowered until it touches the boards, and is pressed back up. The height of the boards is chosen by the lifter. The weight lifted during a board press is more than that used during the lifters normal full range bench press and set-up should also be the same, including grip, back arch and foot position.
Why Board Presses
There are many benefits of including board presses in your training routine:
Overcome Sticking Points
To overcome a sticking point in your bench press, your first task is to determine exactly where the sticking point is. Your Bench Press sticking point is not always where the bar stops moving. Select enough boards so that the bar can be brought down only as far as just below your sticking point. Increase weight in the bar and keep your bench press form the same. This will allow you to develop more strength through your weakest point, and increasing bench press overall.
By reducing the range of motion, the triceps are worked more intensely which is good for strength and size development.
Adjust to handling heavier weight
Using the increased weight of a board press you prepare you Central Nervous System (CNS) to handle heavier weight, it will also boost confidence in your ability handle the same weight through the full range of motion.
Board press allows for a safer rehab of injured shoulders by taking some of the shoulder rotation out of the pressing motion.
Boards can be home made or purchased from a commercial supplier, The boards I use for training and coaching are home made from silky oak and can be joined together with Velcro to get the desired board thickness.