Strength - Partner Bench Press on an Exercise Ball
 Partner Applies Uneven Resistance as the Lifter Performs Bench Presses While Lying on an Exercise Ball

Partner Applies Uneven Resistance as the Lifter Performs Bench Presses While Lying on an Exercise Ball

Strength - Partner Bench Press on an Exercise Ball

Dick Moss

Sports such as hockey, lacrosse and football involve situations in which players must explosively thrust their arms forward. For example when offensive linemen block, hockey players fight for the puck in the corner or lacrosse players check a ball carrier.

The bench press is a great exercise for developing the shoulder and chest muscles involved in such movements. Except for one thing, the exercise is not sport-specific because the lift is controlled, with an equal amount of weight being lifted simultaneously by both arms. In real life, the load on each arm is often different, and athletes must apply force while attempting to maintain their balance.

The following exercise does a wonderful job of mimicking such situations, and in so doing improves functional strength in the major muscle groups of the chest, shoulders and back-and also the smaller support muscles and those the of the body's abdominal core.

Setup
You'll need two partners, a weight bar and a large exercise ball.The lifter lies with his back on the exercise ball, holding the bar with arms extended - as when performing a bench press. The partner holds the bar, as if spotting for the lifter. Her job is to provide resistance.

How to Perform
With the partner providing resistance, the lifter begins to bench-press the bar. It's a difficult task, since he must balance himself on the exercise ball while lifting.

Initially, the partner should place an equal amount of resistance on both sides of the bar. However, as the lifter becomes accustomed to the exercise, the partner can increase the difficulty by applying more pressure on one side of the bar, then the other.


Reference: Dick Moss, Editor, PE Digest, May, 2006.

 

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