Upper body pressing is undoubtedly necessary to all sports and levels of athletes.  Oftentimes you’ll hear coaches from a variety of sports outside of football and rugby argue why upper body pressing is unnecessary but this is far from the truth.  Because of the biomechanics of most pressing movements such as glenohumeral horizontal adduction, elbow extension, and scapular/spine stabilization there is a high level of sports specificity.  You won’t find a single sport that does not utilize the biomechanics just mentioned, making upper body pressing crucial to overall athletic performance.  For those looking to build this facet of their development, here are 3 types of pressing exercises that can build your overall bench press.

#1 Floor Pressing

The floor press exercise is great because it builds your triceps, muscles that are crucial to the lock-out portion of a strong bench press.  The floor press exercise also builds the top range of pressing, or concentric phase, which can be difficult for many strength trainers.  Because the legs are removed from this exercise, you have to focus purely on upper body pressing which can take your bench press to the next level.

#2 Board Press

I’ve written before about the importance of floor pressing Here, but the 2 main benefits of this exercise is that you can handle a heavier load compared to the standard bench press, and like floor pressing builds the concentric portion of your bench.   Anytime you can effectively move more weight than normal, or build strength at specific ranges of motion this will help improve overall strength.  Another benefit of this exercise is that it doesn’t stress your shoulders as much which allows athletes to move heavier weight more safely.

#3 JM Press

The JM Press is all about building massive triceps.  Of all the tricep exercises that exist I believe the JM press to be the most effective.  After hitting this exercise correctly with either a barbell or a dumbbell you can expect your tri’s to be on fire for the next 2 days.  But fight through the uncomfortableness of the lift and this will be a huge benefit to the lockout phase of your standard bench press.  If you’re looking for some size, the JM press will definitely give you some bigger arms.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since a bigger arm can potentially be a stronger arm, aiding in your pressing strength.

My bench press has always been pretty modest, with the most I’ve ever put up being 365lbs.  Modest, but not too shabby considering I weighed 190 lbs at the time.  Relative to my body weight this was ok, and made sense given that I was a high level athlete at the time.  But the truth is everyone should have a decent bench press relative to their body size because a strong bench press can help you run faster, hit harder, swim stronger, and swing faster.  We need to move past the idea that pressing is just for football players, because in reality it’s for all athletes!-Boostman 

Coach Bass

Coach Bass

Owner, Boost Training Systems in Corona, CA
Level 1 & 2 Coach Bommarito Performance