Benchpress Partners

Do these complementary moves after your bench-press reps for a serious superset.

By Adam Gethin

Band pull-apart

Will help you… become injury-proof

Your shoulder is the most complicated and delicate joint in your body. This move improves its strength and stability by working your rotator cuffs, a group of small but important muscles that surround the joint.

How to do it

  • Stand tall, holding the end of a stretch band in each hand with your arms straight out in front of you.
  • Keeping your arms straight, slowly pull your hands apart until you feel a strong stretch in your shoulders.
  • Hold for a second and then return your hands slowly to the starting position.

Dumbbell fly

Will help you… build more muscle

Following a compound move with an isolation move turns it into a post-exhaustion superset, which means you work the target muscle group first and then really fatigue it with an exercise that’s safe to perform to failure.

How to do it

  • Lie on a flat bench holding a dumbbell in each hand directly above your chest with your palms facing each other.
  • Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, slowly lower the weights out to the sides as far as is comfortable. Don’t arch your back.
  • Use your pecs to reverse the movement and raise the weights back to the top.

Bent-over row

Will help you… get stronger

Working opposing muscle groups back to back is time-efficient and effective in making both groups stronger. Each is fully activated, which provides additional stability so you can push yourself harder.

How to do it

  • Grip the bar with your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart, letting them hang at knee level.
  • Bend your knees slightly and lean forward from the hips, keeping your core braced, back straight and shoulder blades retracted.
  • Pull the bar up to your lower sternum, retracting your shoulder blades to allow the bar to come up to your chest, then lower the bar slowly to the start.

Clap push-up

Will help you… build explosive power

Forcing your muscles to contract quickly and powerfully enough to push your hands off the ground when performing a push-up is the best way to build explosive power that will benefit you in the gym, in the ring and on the sports pitch.

How to do it

  • Start in a push-up position and lower your chest to the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  • Push back up powerfully so that your hands leave the floor. Quickly clap them together before you land.
  • Land and descend straight into the next rep.

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