"Throw 135 on and let's get to it!"
Ask most people who have performed the bench press and most likely, they have just hopped on the bench and started warming-up with the barbell or 135 as their “warm-up.”
Not only is this disadvantageous from a force production and strengthening perspective, but it can also place the body at an increased risk for injury. If certain areas need mobility in order to perform a lift properly are not moving well, this can cause short and long term orthopedic issues.
Areas needed for mobility prior to bench pressing/horizontal pressing are:
-Gleno-humeral Joint (shoulder)
These are the 2 major areas that should be targeted prior to horizontal pressing in order to maximize mobility for that particular movement.
Here are 3 Quick and Easy Mobility Drills to Prepare You for the Bench Press:
1. Bench Thoracic Spine Mobilizations
-Maintain a neutral spine. Don’t extend/flex.
-Keep your abs on.
-Stretch should be felt throughout the lats, triceps, or in the thoracic spine.
This drill is commonly used for mobility at the thoracic spine. But it is also a great movement to be performed to improve mobility at the posterior musculature of the shoulders and arms.
The specific areas that are being targeted are:
-Long Head of Triceps
Perform for 8-10 reps with a 2-3 sec hold prior to pressing.
2. Sidelying Rib Roll
-Prop knee up at/or above hip height.
-Grasp underside of ribs with top arm hand.
-Use hand to assist in twisting thoracic spine.
Even though the bench thoracic spine mobilization drill covers thoracic spine mobility as well as soft tissue mobility, the thoracic spine is meant to EXTEND AND ROTATE. By incorporating the Sidelying Rib Roll drill, this can maximize the thoracic spine’s mobility to extend and rotate as well as decrease stress and strain at the glenohumeral joint.
3. Seated Wall Slide
-Maintain a neutral spine
-Slide arms up as high as you can without letting forearms/hands come off the wall.
This can be a great movement to maximize mobility throughout the anterior glenohumeral joint musculature. Typically, it can be used as a motor control exercise to help prime the muscular and nervous systems, but it can also be used to improve mobility as well.
Next time you have a horizontal pressing day, try these 3 mobility drills to help improve your performance as well as decrease your risk for injury.
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