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5 Ways to Improve Your Bench Press Lockout

Tempo Explanation

Getting stuck within the bench press might be brought on by a wide variety of points. It can be associated to power, mechanics, muscle imbalances, and more. The bench press is sort of a chain of commands and if there’s weak hyperlink in your chain, then that hyperlink will cause problems whenever you’re pushing your physique’s limits. 

A number of articles concentrate on the way to overcome getting stuck within the first half of the bench press, however for a big variety of athletes it’s the lockout — the final 20 to 30 % of the carry — that causes failed lifts. In this article, we’ll talk about five strategies to enhance your bench press lockout. It’s essential to notice that the methods under will solely be useful in case your bench press mechanics are already dialed in. No amount of equipment and programming can repair poor type. 

1. Accommodated Resistance

Among the best ways to work by means of a lockout sticking point is the with using accommodated resistance —making the bar heavier as you carry it, putting a lot of the resistance on the finish of the movement. Usually, accommodated resistance for the bench press will come in the form of attaching the bar to bands and/or chains, and each of these types of resistance have somewhat comparable results in terms of loading. But they can be used barely in a different way. 

Why: Bands and chains add further weight to the bar by means of the concentric of motion and in the direction of the top of the movement or lockout. As you convey the barbell right down to the chest the bands or chains lower in rigidity (the band will lose stretch and the chains will bunch on the floor) then as you press, their rigidity will increase once more.

This improve in rigidity by means of the concentric portion of the bench press makes them an superior choice for overloading and preventing by means of a lockout sticking point. Each options are nice, nevertheless, you should use them slightly in a different way for lockout sticking points. 

  • Bands: Great options for making use of slightly extra rigidity simply off the chest and thru lockout. Use bands in the event you find that your sticking point varies from off the chest and just earlier than lockout. That’s the perfect of each worlds.
  • Chains: Nice choices for purely focusing on lockout problems. With most chains, you possibly can modify them to focus on a precise range of movement. For instance, you’ll be able to create sufficient slack to the place they only provide resistance via a very exact concentric vary of motion (you are able to do the identical with bands, nevertheless it’s far more troublesome to gauge).

How: In case you plan to make use of accommodated resistance to work by way of a bench press sticking point, then a good way to take action is to focus a full training block on using this added resistance. A standard coaching block can run from anyplace from Four-6-weeks, so for those who’re planning to utilize accommodated resistance achieve this for the complete block. 

Substitute your regular bench press working sets with accommodated resistance working units. Usually, you’ll need to decrease your bench press intensity from 15-30% and it will differ based mostly on power ranges, along with set and rep objectives, and whether you’re utilizing bands or chains.

It’s essential to notice that whichever type of accommodated resistance you opt for, you attempt to stick with it for the complete block. Additionally, it’s a very good concept to be very aware of establishing the bench press persistently each time with the bands or chains. 

The way to use bands and chains for accessory workouts! 

2. 1 1/Four Shut-Grip Bench Press

One other great and underneath utilized accessory is the close-grip bench press with the addition of a 1/Four rep. A 1 1/4 rep entails a half rep, then a full rep before you possibly can rely the rep off throughout a set. The close-grip bench is superior for concentrating on and overloading the triceps throughout the normal bench press’s range of motion — which means it’s an superior movement for shifting focus in the bench press on the triceps. 

Why: Lockout issues usually need to do with triceps dropping steam in the direction of the final range of movement wanted to efficiently full a rep. The close-grip bench press already does an incredible job at concentrating on the triceps, nevertheless, if you add in a half-rep the toughness of this train will increase.

Principally, the triceps now have to handle an eccentric load, a slight press, then a smaller and extra exact eccentric load earlier than finishing a rep. Three benefits that come together with this bench press variation embrace: 

  1. Elevated triceps time underneath pressure. 
  2. Higher eccentric load management earlier than shifting to supply pressure. 
  3. Great tool for reinforcing lockout mechanics when reaching fatigue. 

How: Since you’re adding a half-rep, then you definitely’ll possible should decrease the intensity of your close-grip bench press. Should you choose to maintain the intensity the same, then your quantity will must be reduce. 

For those who plan to make use of this exercise as a foremost accent, then focus more on the depth of the train, and when you’re utilizing it extra as a burnout for mechanical reinforcement, give attention to volume with lighter masses. 

Three. Pin Presses

For pure give attention to lockout range of movement, few accessories can prime the pin press. This exercise permits you to work via a really specific vary of motion and to overload bench press lockouts safely. 

Why: The pin press isolates the bench press’s range of motion to a precise degree with using safeties in a squat or bench press rack. Once you’ve dialed in the place your sticking point is, then you possibly can shift a rack’s safeties accordingly on your needs. Notice, the pin press can be used in two ways:

  1. You’ll be able to eccentrically convey the bar down, then press from the pin, or
  2. You can begin the press from the pin. 

On prime of being precise with the range of movement, the pin press may also be easily overloaded. Since you’re shifting the load from a hard and fast place by means of a decreased vary of movement, you’ll be able to usually work with intensities which might be close to max and supra-maximal loaded.

How: The pin press can be utilized as a essential compound or accent relying on your objectives and coaching block needs. For lifters focusing solely on their sticking point, employ the pin press as the primary pressing compound for the day and give attention to pushing near or supra-maximal masses. Usually, units of Three-5 reps with 90+% intensity are a superb start line to acclimate to this movement and depth (reps will lower as load will increase). 

When utilizing the pin press as an adjunct, the load will differ significantly relying on the whole units and reps. One approach to construction your sets and reps is by breaking your sticking point into two areas. In the event you’re failing at lockout as a result of power, then use the pin press as an accessory with heavier intensities and less reps. For those failing resulting from mechanical points (elbows flaring, and so forth.), then work with greater reps and average intensities to strengthen lockout mechanics.

Four. Concentric Tempo Targeted Bench Press

Tempo is a strong and underutilized software for compound actions, particularly when working via sticking factors. Sometimes, tempo is used to extend time underneath rigidity within the eccentric motion pattern and for holds on the bottom of workouts. For this instance, we’re going to give attention to utilizing tempo for the concentric portion of the bench press. 

Tempo ExplanationTempo Rationalization

Why: Giving additional consideration to the concentric portion within the bench press with tempo is great for offering further insight right into a sticking point problems. In the event you’re pressured to pause or decelerate with a weight just before lockout and lack success, then you definitely’ll know instantly which hyperlink is breaking down in your chain. 

Widespread tempo-focused lockout problems and what they will mean:

  1. Can’t hold the load in any respect: For those who merely can’t maintain the load or slow down a weight in a desired range of movement, then it might purely be a power concern together with your lockout. This will provide additional insights into beefing up your triceps coaching. 
  2. Lack stability: Should you try to pause a rep simply earlier than lockout and immediately discover the elbows and shoulders starting to move, then your sticking level might be more of a mechanical difficulty. This could present insights into training to strengthen mechanics when masses get heavier.

How: The easiest way to utilize tempo with a concentric bench press focus is to bake in specific tips for the set. For example, as opposed to merely writing one thing like “3021” in your program, which traditionally signifies that there can be a 2-second concentric, specify that the “2” indicates a 2-second pause or tempo at a selected range of motion as a reminder and rule.

For instance, in a program it might look as follows when written out: 

  • A1. Bench Press: 4 x 3 @eight / Tempo 3021 – Program observe: Regular concentric velocity off the chest, but add a 2-second maintain simply earlier than lockout, then hold for a second on the prime before initiating the subsequent rep. 

5. Flooring Press

Another great accessory for focusing on lockout problems is the ground press. This bench press accessory limits the complete vary of motion for the carry and might be great for overloading the top-end portion of the bench. It’s just like the pin press, nevertheless, the ground press requires a slightly larger range of movement and mindfulness on the eccentric movement pattern. 

Why: In the flooring press, the elbows function the vary of motion limiting issue. As soon as the elbows make contact with the floor, then the lifter should translate that eccentric load into a forceful concentric contraction.

The floor press is nice for lockout problems as a result of when the elbows make contact with the ground, it’s rather more troublesome to generate energy because of lack of momentum. There’s no reliance on any stretch reflex for the floor press. 

How: For those who’re new to flooring pressing, take a look at our information under!


Setup Beneath the Barbell

Begin by positioning your self on the ground underneath the barbell (eyes ought to be beneath). With the legs either straight or bent, be sure you place the ft, hips, and higher back on the floor, just like that of a bench press.

Observe, that this relationship with the floor is important to the ground press. Typically, people who wrestle with this on a bench might find it easier to develop higher back pressure in the flooring press within the early learning phases.


Grip the Flooring, Convey Elbows Downwards

With the physique actively gripping the ground, firmly squeeze the barbell and pull the elbows down in the direction of the torso, on a slight angle to ensure that the back muscle tissue and posterior shoulders are being activated.

Remember to pull the barbell to the bottom of the chest (simply above the sternum) so that the elbows are roughly 45 degrees from the torso.


Gently Contact the Flooring, Then Press

Upon getting gently made contact with the again of the elbows to the ground, remain in rigidity and reverse the motion so that you simply go into the concentric pressing part of the floor press.

Word, that lifters can pause at the backside of the press (which I favor) to assist improve stability, control, and achieve a deeper understanding on how you can develop and keep pressure and power throughout the complete carry.


Lock Out, Prep for Next Rep

Upon getting returned to the highest of the motion, repeat for the prescribed repetitions, relaxation, and repeat.

Ensure to not over protract on the prime when finishing a rep, as this might throw your positioning and base out of line.

Bench Press Lockout Ideas

1. Be Aware of Programming

When programming to work round a lockout sticking level, stay objective and aware about your exercise selection. That is the place the idea of specificity is available in. For points with lockout, power sport athletes should goal to coach with direct bench press variations that target this challenge, while recreational lifters can typically benefit with simply programming extra triceps work. 

2. Give Ample Attention

As an alternative of making an attempt to add in additional accessories to an already busy program, give attention to making a full training block dedicated to working around a lockout sticking level. This is useful as a result of it will possibly assist you dial within the movements and equipment you propose to use to deal with the issue at hand, AKA lockout issues. So as opposed to simply including more quantity to your present training program, alter a full block for working by way of sticking points. 

Jake Boly bench press

Jake Boly bench press

Wrapping Up

The bench press is likely one of the toughest movements to progress at occasions and sticking level could be extremely irritating for progress. For those who discover that your bench press sticking level is close to lockout, then attempt a number of the strategies above in your present training program!