Why We Don’t Bench Press as Often as we Used To

“Why don’t we Bench Press much anymore ❓”

That was the question posed to me the other day by an athlete — which is a good question.

It’s not that I hate the bench press, it’s just that I don’t love it either. With so many people/athletes spending so much time sitting and slouching over, I think more people that we want to admit present some shoulder mobility issues that would benefit from some more shoulder friendly pressing variations. The bench press pins down the scapula not allowing it to move freely, and the barbell doesn’t allow the shoulder to externally/internally rotate and locks you into a fixed position, neither of which may be ideal for long term shoulder health.

In addition, I think a lot of other pressing variations have additional benefits that we don’t get through a traditional Barbell Bench Press.

That’s why we perform a lot of Landmine Presses, both standing and kneeling, that allows the scapula to move freely and adds more of a core component.

That’s why we perform a lot of 2DB Bench Pressing when pressing bilaterally, a movement that allows us to internally/externally rotate while pressing.

That’s why we perform a lot of 1DB and Alternating DB Presses that give us the added benefit of increased shoulder stability, the ability to internally/externally rotate, and more core stability.

That’s why we perform a lot of Push Ups that require a lot of Anti-Extension core stability, are extremely shoulder friendly, and are generally something most people and athletes would benefit from doing more of.

This isn’t to say we never Barbell Bench anymore but we certainly do less then we did 2-3 years ago. And this will be an unpopular opinion, but if I’m really being honest, beyond offensive and defensive lineman in 🏈, I think the traditional Barbell Bench Press might be a little over-rated 🤷‍♂️

One thought on “Why We Don’t Bench Press as Often as we Used To

  1. Agree with you on all points. In addition, we perform a lot of horizontal pressing (2 or 1 arm; parallel or staggered stance) via cables/bands. Amongst other pluses, we get the free moving scap and anterior core stability.

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