If you’re reading this, you probably want to increase your bench press strength. Why else would you click it?

Well, you’re in luck because I know for a fact that the following exercises will take your bench from zero to hero as long as you are consistent in your training.

A couple of quick key points:

  1. Strong triceps = strong bench press. They are the main movers of the bench press.
  2. There is no such thing as “the best exercise” for anything.
  3. The best results come from being consistent and having variety in your exercise selection.

When you’re trying to get stronger at any movement (squat, bench, deadlift, etc), you have two choices:

  1. Use exercises that mimic the movement you’re trying to improve. Example: Performing RDL’s to improve your deadlift.
  2. Use exercises that isolate and strengthen the supportive muscles used in the movement. Example: Performing low back extensions to improve your deadlift.

One choice is not better than the other. In fact, you should be incorporating both into your training for maximal results.

Which muscles are used in the bench press?

The bench press, including other horizontal pressing movements like push ups, primarily involve the:

  • Triceps (primary mover)
  • Pecs (major and minor)
  • Anterior delts
  • Core

Exercises That Mimic The Bench Press

These are exercises that closely relate to the movement pattern of the bench press. The bench press involves pushing weight horizontally (as opposed to vertically, like an overhead press).

So when you’re performing an exercise that mimics the bench press, it is going to involve pressing resistance away from your body horizontally.


The floor press is the one exercise that gave me results almost immediately after I started doing them. You can perform the floor press with dumbbells or a barbell. Both are great.

Dumbbell floor presses are used mostly to add muscle to your triceps.

Barbell floor presses can handle a lot more weight, and therefore can be used to increase overall strength and power as well.

How does it increase your bench press?

The floor press is the same movement pattern as the bench, except you are laying on the floor instead of a bench.

This shortens the range of motion your arms have to travel, putting all of the emphasis on the top half of the bench press.

The top half of the bench is when you are locking out your arms, which involves the triceps. Remember, the triceps are the main movers in the bench, so you want to do a lot of triceps work if you want to get stronger at this lift.

The floor press also minimizes your arch (your back is going to be flatter during floor presses) and takes your legs out of the equation (you can’t drive through your legs when you’re laying on the floor as opposed to a bench).

These small changes in positioning really make your triceps work harder and will carry over to increased strength in the bench press.

Coaching cues for the floor press…

  1. Keep full body tension throughout the entire range of motion.
  2. Bring your arms all the way to the floor with tension. Don’t let your arms relax once they’re on the ground. Use the analogy that the floor is a scale, and you want the scale to read half of your arm weight when you bring them down.


Usually, the hardest part of the bench press is what’s called “the sticking point”.

That’s when you’re pushing the bar up as hard as you can, and when your arms are starting to lockout about halfway through , the bar feels like 1,000lbs.

When you lockout your arms, your triceps are engaging. That’s what makes the floor press such an effective exercise, because you are focusing completely on strengthening the top half of the bench press, where the triceps are working their hardest.

Well, the same goes for benching with chains and bands.

Adding chains and band-resistance to your bench press increases the amount of resistance at the top end of the movement. As you lockout your arms, the weight gets heavier and heavier.

How does it increase your bench press?

You’re training yourself to become stronger during the sticking point of the bench press. The sticking point is when your arms want to give out as you reach the top of the bench press.

Attaching chains and/or bands to the ends of the barbell cause you to experience more tension as you reach the sticking point.

When you go back to benching without the added resistance, you’re used to handling more weight as you reach the sticking point, so your lockout strength is going to be much higher.

Exercises to Strengthen Your Triceps

The importance of your triceps strength cannot be understated when it comes to the bench press.

They are the prime movers and exercises for the triceps should be incorporated at least twice per week for noticeable strength gains.


The triceps extension is one of the staples in any good strength program.

This small, but effective hinging movement does wonders to strengthen all of the supportive muscles surround the elbow joint. You can perform extension with cables, rope handles, bands, and with a medicine ball.

A medicine ball? Yep.

Grab a med ball and place it on top of the platform of an assisted chin-dip machine.

Have your palms flat on the ball and push downward until your arms are fully extended. Follow through with every rep to your finger tips to get all of the deep muscles around the elbow joint.

How does it increase your bench press?

This small, but deceivingly difficult extension variation completely isolates the triceps, which are the main supporters of the bench press.

Perform 2-4 sets of 15-25 reps with relatively light loading so you can work on isolating the triceps and improving your overall elbow health and longevity.

You can make it even better by adding a band to the mix, as seen below 🙂

Key Points

  • To get stronger at any lift (squat, bench, deadlift), use other exercises that mimic the same movement pattern.
  • You can and should also use exercises that isolate and strengthen the supportive muscles used in the lift.
  • No exercise is the best exercise.
  • Strong triceps = strong bench press.
  • Have variety in your exercise selection.
  • Be consistent.
  • Have fun.

If you have any questions or comments, please shoot me a message down below.



Then take this free gift now. Seriously, take it. HURRY.