As I have already discussed in an earlier article, powerlifting specificity is very important in any powerlifting training program. However, a few well selected assistance exercises can and do add to your success in building a bigger Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. What I am looking at today is Bodyweight exercises to build size and strength with the ultimate goal of blasting new Bench Press Personal Bests.
Pushup are a good basic bodyweight exercise but for building a bigger bench press we need a little bit more than the basic pushup. As you get better at benching and you begin to see gains in overall chest size the range of motion becomes much smaller. This is where depth push-ups enter the training equation.
Depth push-ups are not only a way to activate and stretch the pectoral muscles over the full range of motion, depth pushups also assist with developing explosive power as you activate more muscle fibres compared to the regular pushup which does not have the explosive plyometric component. It is explosive power that you need at the bottom of your bench press to drive the bar off your chest after the pause.
Bodyweight Skull Crushers
The next component of a big Bench Press is strong triceps, as an alternative to regular Skull Crushers, Triceps Extensions or even the French Press Body weight skull crushers add an element of variety to an otherwise standard training routine. This exercise is harder than it looks and has the added bonus of hitting your core hard.
The Australian Pull Up
The Australian pull up (Because your down under) AKA the Inverted Row, Reclined Rows or Reverse Bench Press is a great exercise for back development, but you may be wondering why this is important for a big bench ? Rowing movements both vertical and in this case horizontal provide muscle balance for injury prevention and building a big back provides a larger more stable base for your even bigger Bench Press.
As mentioned above the rowing motion but vertical and horizontal is important for building a bigger more stable back. While the Australian Pull Up is a horizontal rowing motion the traditional Pull Up is a vertical rowing motion. Put these 2 bodyweight exercises into your routine to assist with building the solid base required for a Big Bench.