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Lift Correctly, Optimize Gains: Volume 1 – Bench Press

Any resistance training activity, regardless of complexity, can be performed in one of two ways: (a) correctly, and in a manner that optimizes potential adaptation and muscle activation, or (b) incorrectly, and in a manner that increases the risk for injury and reduces intended muscle activation due to biomechanical compensations. For the purpose of this discussion we will review common compensatory actions associated with one of the most popular recreational lifts - the bench press. Even with a relatively stable, single-plane and straightforward activity like a chest press, numerous actions can be performed that reduce the transfer of force, or place joints/bodily segments in positions that minimize the workload of the prime and assistive movers for the movement.

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