I am finding that the weak point of my bench press is the initial push, especially when doing heavy singles/doubles/triples. If I can move the bar the first six inches or so, then I can typically lock it out with no trouble.

What supplementary exercises can I do to target this phase of the bench press? I would prefer to avoid specialty machines, and stick with barbell-oriented exercises.

2 Answers 2


I use to have the same problem and one thing that really helped me out was holding the bar at the bottom of the movement for 2-3 seconds before pressing back up. At the bottom of the bench press hold the weight just barely above your chest or wherever your normally stop, do not rest it on your chest. I would recommend doing this with less weight than you normally rep because it does exhaust your muscles pretty quickly.


The only thing I can think of is flies - making sure you get a good stretch. Besides that maybe play with your timing with breathing.

Although you thinking about the bar linearly (inches from chest) there is a lot more going on.

After blowing my rotorcuff getting ready for a show, I almost never did flat bench barbell anymore and I actually got a lot bigger and my shoulders took off like crazy. However that doesn't help if you are a power lifter.

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