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Reverse Band Bench Press for Increasing Bench Press Lockout Strength FAST

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The Reverse Band Press is extremely useful for muscle-building purposes. When you perform the Reverse Band Press, you won't get the same elastic tension on the way up (that you work against for explosive pressing). What you will get is a lot of help at the bottom of the bench, which gradually decreases as you press the bar up. When you get near the top, you're doing the majority, if not all, of the work yourself.

This is the exact perfect strength curve of the bench press and it will allow you to use a heavier overall weight when pressing. Since you're at maximal tension the entire way up, you'll be doing a much more efficient pressing workout.

CLICK HERE to find out where to get a good set of training bands for a very good price - this is where I got mine.

To set this up, you'll need to do your bench pressing in a rack. Set the flat bench in the rack and set your safety rails and racking pins at the appropriate heights as you do if you were doing a regular bench press. Use the thicker bands for this as they'll match the strength curve of the exercise better. Hitch the bands to the upper crossbeams of the rack. You can choose from two places to hitch them up - the first is the side upper crossbeams The second is the front or rear top crossbeam of the rack. Be sure to use the same hitch on both sides so that the lengths of the bands are even on the bar.

The main benefit of hitching to the side upper rails are that the bands get a straight up and down line of pull on the bar, maximizing the help they'll be able to give during the exercise. The downside is that you MUST hitch the bands exactly evenly on the side rails - if you don't, the bands will pull the bar in a rotational pattern and you will find one shoulder getting a lot of torque.

If you have a felt marker, you can measure and draw exactly even lines on your rack or, if you're in a public gym, use something else to measure (e.g. a weight plate or your hand) so that you get the same distance on both sides. Do a test rep with light weight to make sure the bands are even before beginning the real workout.

When you hitch the bands to the front or rear crossbeam, it's much easier to get an even pull on the bar as you can just hitch the bands right next to the uprights on the rack (as far wide as you can hitch them). That way, you'll know that they're even. The downside is that you don't get a direct upwards pull from the bands but an angled pull. When pressing, this will mean the amount of help the bands give you is reduced.

Once the bands are hitched to the upper crossbeam (whichever method), loop the other ends onto the barbell (after you've added the weight - you can go heavier than you normally would for the same reps when using the bands, e.g. add about 50 to 70 pounds to the bar - you'll need to play with the amount of weight you use).

You can loop the bands on the bar on the outside of the weight plates or on the inside. If you go inside, put the bands on the bar before you load the weight plates. Be very sure the bands don't line up with where you're racking the bar - if you rack the bar on top of the bands, you may damage the bands.

If you loop the bands on the outside of the weight plates, put the bands on THEN put the collars on the outside of the bands. This will keep the bands from shifting on the bar as well.

You're ready to press! Lie under the bar, grip it as you normally would, then lower it to your chest. You'll notice that it feels lighter at the bottom and you'll be able to accelerate the bar off your chest better. But as you come up, it gets harder and harder and you have to squeeze harder and harder to keep the bar moving. Lock it out and squeeze the chest hard, then go again!

Reverse Band Bench Press for Increasing Bench Press Lockout Strength FAST

Reverse Band Bench Press for Increasing Bench Press Lockout Strength FAST

The Reverse Band Press will help your body get used to pressing heavier weights and will really help you increase your power in the lockout phase of the bench press.


 

The Reverse Band Press can also be done with both Incline and Decline presses in addition to the Flat Bench version listed here. You'll need to experiment with band setups for the varying heights.

As a special note on the decline version, I've found the decline reverse band press to be one of the most powerful chest-building exercises I've ever found. It allows you to not only use the most weight of any of the bench press variations but, because the bands are stretched over the ENTIRE range of motion, it more closely matches the strength curve of the exercise.

As an example, in the pictures below, I'm using 455 lbs on the decline bench with the reverse bands. My actual maximum flat bench press is more then 100 lbs less than that! This puts GREAT tension on the pecs as well as really helping build the connective tissue, allowing your body to more comfortably handle heavier weights.

Reverse Band Bench Press for Increasing Bench Press Lockout Strength FAST

Reverse Band Bench Press for Increasing Bench Press Lockout Strength FAST

The first video below is using 405 lbs. The second video below that is with 455 lbs and it's also a GREAT example of why you should ALWAYS use a rack when bench pressing...

 


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QuickTime File (Mac format)

 


Windows Movie File (WMV format)

QuickTime File (Mac format)

 


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