A few weeks ago, we had the current 123 lb all-time world record holding bench presser Emily Hu in office. Besides chatting about the industry, being on the Titan Games, and her future aspirations in the sport of powerlifting, we talked about the bench press.
Earlier this year, Hu competed at the Slingshot Record Breakers meet and hit her monster 127kg/277.7 lb bench press. Needless to say, we wanted to learn from her on the bench press, which is where our inspiration for the video below came from.
On the bench press, Hu shared two of her favorite tips to push more weight. Her favorite tips included maintaining a tight upper back and using leg drive. It’s worth noting that Hu’s final leg drive tip is also bench press legend Jen Thompson’s favorite tip, too!
1. Tight Upper Back
A strong bench press needs the upper back to be tight, as it is essentially the anchor keeping the body in place and absorbing the eccentric force. Hu explained that a tight upper back will include the the shoulders pulled back and down with the lats flexed.
Hu also provided two upper back accessory exercises to help you build and strengthen the upper back if you’re falling behind. These accessories included chest supported rows and bent over rows.
2. Leg Drive
Leg drive is another very important tip for a bigger bench press. This cue takes some time to get just right, but once you finally nail it, it is a cue that will help strengthen your maximal presses. What’s important to remember with this cue is that your leg drive shouldn’t cause you to lose your setup position.
Hu explains in the video that proper leg drive can help transfer force into the bar, and help you keep your setup tight and secure. Check out the full video below for Hu’s full rationale!