In the world of weightlifting, bench pressing is king. Favored by many athletes in many different fields and walks of life, the bench press has seen a new development in the last few years: the use of boards to strengthen weaker areas.
“During the past decade, the board press has become one of the most popular bench training movements,” says EliteFTS founder and CEO Dave Tate. “Whether the use of boards involves the dynamic effort method, max effort method, using it as a basic supplementary exercise, or as an exercise to increase triceps strength and development, board presses remain at the top for bench training movements.”
Board presses take bench presses to the next level: by placing wooden boards (literally like 2x4s) on their chests during the press and stacking them at different levels, they are able to focus on different muscle groups. For example, athletes and bodybuilders are interested in building and developing their triceps so they’ll pursue an exercise called “Tricep Hell” — designed to focus on strength endurance and muscle hypertrophy, the press requires five reps on a 1-board that goes straight into five on a 2-board, which is then repeated up to a 4-board or 5-board.
Since the process allows the user flexibility in terms of the areas they’d like to strengthen, board pressing can even be used in rehabilitation situations: if you have shoulder problems, you can perform a board press that stops the range of motion before you get to the action that causes pain. This way, even injured people can continue to train while the problem area recovers.
Just as powerlifting gear is required for certain movements (such as knee wraps, wrist wraps, and weight lifting belts for overhead presses), you can’t do a board press without a board. Whether you opt for the inexpensive option of actual boards or decide that the lightweight bench blokz are more your style, both serve the same purpose. With all the benefits that powerlifting provides (like the fact that strength training has been proven to alleviate lower back pain in 80% of people), exploring board pressing is simply the next stage of your adventure.