Prime your nervous system before bench pressing to unlock your strength potential. Here’s how.
You’re only as strong as your nervous system allows you to be. Explosive exercises and plyometrics are central nervous system (CNS) primers. When programmed strategically, they can unlock your power and strength potential in the big lifts.
The Bench Press Primer
Before bench pressing, do this explosive CNS primer superset. Pair the “seal jack” with an explosive medball press. It’ll activate postural stabilizers of the core, hips, and shoulders AND trigger the type of heightened neurological state that produces powerful, pain-free presses.
Twitchy Seal Jack + Explosive Medball Press
- A1. Twitchy seal jack, 3-5 reps
- A2. Explosive bentover medball press, 3-5 reps
Do 2-3 total supersets with 30-45 seconds rest between bouts.
How to Do It
The jack is a game changer for your performance. Don’t overlook it because of its old-school PE class history. It’s a safe and effective preparatory movement you can do anywhere.
For the horizontal press, using the seal jack variation (arms in front of the body) is better because it moves the shoulders in and out of an end-range stretch. This slight stretch revs up the nervous system, especially when executed fast and with precision.
Start with your arms elevated up so they’re about parallel to the ground with your palms facing one another and your thumbs up. Explosively complete 3-5 seal jacks, really focusing on moving in and out of that end range quickly and changing direction as fast as possible at the shoulders. These are about quality, not quantity. After a few twitchy reps of seal jacks, move directly into the medball press.
Using a lighter medicine ball between 6-12 pounds, hinge at the hips with a neutral spine and engage the glutes and core to stabilize. You’ll be exploding the ball into the ground as hard and fast as you possibly can for 3-5 reps. Try to press with rhythm on these to elicit a heavy neural response that happens with quick repeat bouts.
Keeping the total reps low and the quality high, shoot for 2-3 supersets with 3-5 reps of seal jacks and another 3-5 reps of medball presses, then hit the bench. You’ll enjoy the carryover to explosive performance.