Before you bench press a heavy bar, use a band.
The band bench-apart – a genius new exercise created by trainer BJ Gaddour – engages the upper back and rear shoulders. The stronger and more stable those areas are, the more weight you can ultimately bench.
The exercise also primes the benching pattern for when you add a barbell, says Gaddour. That’s because the world’s top weight lifters imagine pulling apart the bar when they bench press. This simple technique better activates your lats, which are the biggest muscles in your back.
You can perform the band bench-apart before your next bench press workout, or between sets as a filler exercise. Whichever option you choose, both will give you the foundation to press serious weight and build serious muscle from front to back.