So, You Have A Little Problem With The Bench Press?
This awkwardness is born from the way we are engineered, smaller muscles distally and bigger muscles located centrally. If we are to stimulate central muscles like the pecs without fatiguing the extremities used to access these muscles of interest, then it is useful to take the concept of muscle isolation on board to enable us to get the required stimulation for growth to go where we want it to go.
In the real world (or at least, in the gym) pure muscle isolation is particularly difficult to achieve, some are unconvinced of its possibility. We, on the other hand will swim against this current and take it for granted, going about our business as if it were the unquestionable mandate of a Higher Being.
When lifting towards this end, we will need to discipline ourselves in the arts of technique & form…in addition, we are going to be obliged to use our minds and wills to consistently enforce this discipline.
A simple illustration follows:
Let us pretend that we’re moving a piano up to a flat on the first floor, we don’t care how we get the damn thing up there, as long as we don’t drop it.
In the world of bodybuilding and lifting weights, we don’t give a damn where the piano’s going, we care only about moving that piano in such a way that it is more likely to make us swole.
As far as solving our benching problem is concerned, we need to aim directly at the heart of the issue. The best way to do this, something that I will do with beginners or clients who have difficulty in “feeling it in the right place” when performing an exercise, is to use various machines designed to allow for work with isolation techniques, at least until they get the hang of it, before switching to free weights.
So, how to proceed in training yourself to isolate the pectorals will really depend on what chest isolation equipment that you have access to (my favourite is, unsurprisingly, Hammer Strength stuff).
As important to your success in solving this problem, though is your resolve to hone to a fine point the power to isolate your chest, or for that matter, any other muscle group that you are interested in developing to its maximum potential.