Myofascial Release for Benchers

The typical posture of a bencher is not good. We develop massive chests and shoulders and often walk around with a slouch. When we are preparing our bodies for a training session it is important that we focus on the correct areas that will put us into a better position. Many of us already practice myofascial release techniques such as foam rolling or rolling with a lacrosse ball. With this article I want to quickly outline a few techniques you can use to offset some of the negative side effects of extreme benching

The most important thing is that we take care of the overactive muscles such as the pecs, shoulders, lats, and neck. Those are the areas we are going to take care of with our myofascial release 

Pecs - Using the lacrosse ball, pin the ball up on the wall with your chest. You want to roll around the pec muscle finding areas of tightness and discomfort. When you find a trigger point just relax into the ball, focusing on deep breathing. To apply more pressure just push yourself harder against the wall. The most tender areas will likely be around the insertion of the chest into the shoulder complex

Shoulders/Biceps - Many different tools can be used in this area. I have had tremendous success using Donnie Thompson's Fatbell. I think this tool is excellent for myofascial release. It is very easy to roll yourself and the weight is plenty for this tender area. You will start near the insertion of the chest into the shoulders, roll over the shoulder complex, and down the biceps

Neck/Traps - The neck takes a beating from benching. The excessive arching can put strain on the neck and the overdevelopment of the chest and traps can cause tension. It is important we show a stiff neck some love and take care of that area. Using a lacrosse ball on a corner wall is a great way to do that. Getting on the corner of a wall ensures you have room to put your head so you can effectively dig into the traps and neck. Pin down a tight spot and slowly move the head to the side to cause a stretch. Keep fishing around for areas of tension

Lats - The lats are used more than one thinks when benching. Lats insert into the front of the shoulder joint. When your lats are tight they will pull your shoulders forward and add to that poor slouching posture. To aid in restoring that good posture we must hit the lats. Using a foam roller is a good way to do this. Just put one arm behind your head and place the roller under the arm and into the lats. Use a rotation to roll over the lats instead of an up and down motion

There you have it, four great uses of myofascial release to counteract the effects of excessive benching. For those of you who utilize high frequency benching like myself, this will be great for you. Practice these techniques before and after benching, as well as on off days. These are also great in combination with stretching techniques