How to Increase Power Off Your Chest

Written by Ivy Knight

Many women who bench press for powerlifting struggle. There's probably science behind it but to be honest, I don't know what it is. What I do know is that for many years I struggled, specifically with power off the chest. But I learned a few things and these accessories are a part of what helped me get stronger!

Pin Presses/Dead Press

Pin presses are a valuable exercise to help increase strength in the bench press. They involve lifting the barbell from a set of safety pins or power rack pins, starting from a dead stop at a specific point in the range of motion. Pin presses can help you improve your lockout strength, address sticking points, and build confidence with heavier weights. 

How to do it:

First, adjust the Safety Pins.

Then, set the safety pins in the power rack at the desired height. Typically, you'll want to set them just above your sticking point in the bench press range of motion. This could be at chest level, mid-chest, or just above your chest, depending on your specific goals and weaknesses.


Board Presses

Board presses involve using wooden boards or foam blocks to limit the range of motion of the bench press. This can help you concentrate on the initial phase of the lift where you struggle.

How to do it:

Place 1”-4” boards (depending on your range of motion) on your chest while performing bench presses. This allows you to focus on the bottom part of the lift. Gradually decrease the number of boards as you become stronger.


Spoto Press

The Spoto press is a variation of the bench press that involves deliberately pausing the barbell slightly above your chest. This exercise helps build strength in the mid-range of the bench press, making it an effective choice for improving power off the chest.

How to do it:

Lower the barbell to a point just above your chest but not touching it, and hold the position briefly before pressing it back up. This eliminates the stretch reflex and forces you to use pure strength to initiate the lift.


Paused Dumbbell Flys

Paused dumbbell flys work your chest muscles and improve control and power in the lower portion of the bench press motion.

How to do it:

Lie on a bench with dumbbells in each hand, and perform a standard dumbbell fly but pause for a second at the bottom of the movement when your arms are outstretched, and then bring the dumbbells back up.


Chest Supported Rows:

Strong upper back muscles are crucial for maintaining tightness and stability during the bench press. Chest-supported rows help strengthen the upper back and improve your overall bench press performance.

How to do it: Lie face down on an incline bench with dumbbells in each hand and perform rows. This exercise targets the upper back and rear deltoids.


Try these out and let us know your new PR!!!


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