I’ve found that if I try to squeeze my hands together when I’m performing barbell bench press that it seems to activate my chest much more instead of my triceps and shoulders. The next day after doing bench press in this manor my chest is twice as sore as if I just do it normally. But the negative thing is i can only do about 15-20 lbs lighter for the same reps if I do it trying to squeeze my hands together. I use good form when bench pressing normally but the squeezeing effect just seems to activate my chest more. Should I concentrate more on the weight with good form, or sacrifice the weight and go with the squeezing technique since it seems to activate my chest more?
I say “mix it up”…use the squeezing technique during a hypertrophy/specialization phase of your training, and then switch to the “blast it up” technique when you’re training to develop strength or power. I figure that you should be mixing up your weights, exercises, tempo, and all the rest, and changing your technique every once in a while will just add more variation for your body to respond to. Good luck.
Pulling your hands together activates arm adduction, the main function of the chest. Gripping tighter, however, would activate more triceps and delts if that’s your interest. I think Pavel wrote about this.
You have discovered one of Bodybuilding’s little secerts. Good for you! How often you employ this technique will depend on you goals. If you want great improvement in the appear of your chest use, this this technique alot. If you are more increased in increasing your bench press use it a little. You may even choose to cycle in and out of using the technique. Note: Most bodybuilders used this technique at the end of their bulking phas enand early in the cutting phases. Best of Luck.