- Do you currently utilize the barbell bench press to pack on chest muscle?
- Do you currently experience shoulder pain or discomfort from bench pressing?
- Are you hitting plateaus on your bench press failing to make further strength gains?
- Are you interested in other innovative bench press variations, or alternatives for massive chest gains and strength?
If you’re currently rolling in on Monday’s to hit what the rest of the health club world refers to as National Chest day then today I want to present you with some slightly different exercises that you can incorporate on your chest days to help you to make strength and muscle gains while cutting down on shoulder pain. Give these bench press alternatives a try and give me your feedback!
Bench Press Alternatives And Variations
When it comes to the almighty bench press I don’t think we’re going to argue that it can be a great exercise for packing on upper body muscle and strength. However the barbell bench press exercise seems to be one of the most abused and misused movements in many gyms across the globe. Hell in some cases it’s the only movement misused because it’s one of the only exercises that some guys even do when they go to train at the gym, but digress.
Try incorporating these barbell bench press variations and alternatives for greater gains and optimal shoulder health.
1) Go To The Dumbbell Bench Press: Even though the barbell is more of a “free weight” the bar itself causes you to have to grip it at a fixed angle. In short, this means that the bar doesn’t bend which is why it might be a good idea for you to transition over to doing some dumbbell work as it allows for a freer moving range of motion (ROM) for your shoulder.
In addition to this the dumbbell bench press will trigger some different stabilizers throughout your arms and shoulders to challenge different muscle fibers producing some different strength gains.
2) Go To The Single Arm Dumbbell Bench Press: I’m personally a huge proponent of the single arm dumbbell bench press. Loading the dumbbell in one arm allows for some tremendous core stability as you offset the load on one side of your body. This produces a diagonal line of tension that runs from your loaded hand with the dumbbell all the way down to your opposite hip.
This line of tension creates a tremendous amount of core and shoulder stability from having to handle the free weight throughout the press. I’m a big proponent of single limb training for this very reason and you can apply this to both the flat and incline bench press to play with the angle and ROM.
3) Go To A Close Grip On The Barbell: Moving your grip closer together on the barbell until it’s about even with your armpits will take a great deal of stress off your shoulders and transition much of that load stress onto your triceps. This is a great way to alleviate a lot of pressure on the shoulders while giving yourself a slightly bigger ROM.
4) Go To Push-ups: I’m an absolute huge fan of push-ups. Push ups will challenge your entire upper body and even more of your core foundation as the movement demands full body tension from you to execute it the way the movement is intended.
In addition to this the push up is a closed kinetic chain movement meaning that your limbs being stressed for the movement are fixed against an immovable surface…in this case being the ground. This definitely challenges your strength in a completely different way and integrates your muscular chain to perform for real world functional strength.
5) Go To A More Dynamic Crossover Push-up: This push-up variation demands a great deal more effort than you may think. In fact, whenever you start to change your hand position (particularly when elevating one hand) your push-up intensity will rapidly go up.
This particular crossover push-up using a kettlebell demands a great deal more stability at your shoulder and chest. It does this while also challenging you by redistributing your bodyweight on and off of each hand as you move them on and off of the kettlebell.
Bench Press Alternatives And Variations: The Takeaway
One of the keys to increasing your upper body strength and maintaining healthy shoulders is making sure to implement alternatives and variations of movement with and without the barbell. Getting stuck in doing the same pattern on the barbell over time may potentially cause you shoulder discomfort over the long haul.
Are you currently bench pressing more than twice per week?
What alternatives and variations for the bench press are you using?
Please post up and share here in the comments below.
To put this all together make sure you take advantage of my new killer training programs here below! The first is my new 30 Introductory Bodyweight Workouts training program. The second is a 210 Day training bundle!
Or Click On Image Here Below
Also make sure you take advantage of my more comprehensive new 120 Day Functional Fitness Training Program right here below! I guarantee it’ll get you into the best shape of your life, or I’ll give you your money back no questions asked.
Also for a LIMITED TIME ONLY if you order my 120 Day Functional Fitness Plan you will be able to take advantage of my special discount bundle consisting of…
It’s changing lives already!
Click On Image Here
Click on all images below…
If you’re looking to enhance your fitness for MMA and martial arts then make sure to check out my
For the absolute best solution for chronic and acute severe muscle and joint pain make sure to get your bottle of CobraZol Sport. It’s the absolute best product on the market and it’s been scientifically proven to alleviate muscle and joint pain having two double blind placebo studies done here in the U.S. being one of the only…if not the only topical pain reliever to have this kind of science behind hit.
Click On Image Here