Chest Exercises

The Dumbbell Hip-Bridge Press to Optimize Your Bench

Use the dumbbell hip-bridge press as a weapon for optimizing your form on the bench press.

The Dumbbell Hip-Bridge Press to Optimize Your Bench
Edgar Artiga / M+F Magazine

At first, the bench press seems like one of the easiest moves to conquer—you lie faceup on a bench and press a barbell or dumbbell above your chest. Nothing to it. But proper execution of the bench press is far more nuanced, which is why most lifters screw it up and miss out on graduating to hoisting heavier weight.

However, you can remedy that by adding a move into your arsenal, says CJ McFarland, C.P.P.S., head strength and conditioning coach at the Onnit Academy Gym in Austin, TX.

“The dumbbell hip-bridge press teaches you to better engage your glutes and hips to help increase your bench press max,” McFarland says.

The reason being is that the bench press is actually a full-body move that calls for your feet, glutes, quads, core, upper back, and triceps to all play a factor. And to hold the bridge position, you’re forced to drive through your feet to engage your entire lower body while keeping your upper body tight and locked in, which makes it a perfect supplement move to the bench press, according to McFarland.

Already putting up impressive numbers on the bench press? The hip-bridge press is still worth doing as an accessory or main movement. You’re pressing from the floor, so your range of motion is reduced. This allows you to use heavier dumbbells than you would normally press.

How to Do It: Dumbbell Hip-Bridge Press

  1. With a dumbbell in each hand, lie on your back and bend your legs so they’re at 90 degrees, with your feet planted firmly on the floor.
  2. Engage your glutes and hamstrings and lift your hips up off the floor.
  3. Press the dumbbells up and squeeze the triceps and pecs at the top.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells. Continue pressing and lowering the dumbbells while keeping your hips off the floor.

Rush Hour

Short on time to train? Use this move to hit your entire body and consolidate your workout.

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