T Nation

Upper Back for Bench Press


Hey guys,
What exercises do you feel have helped your upper back the most for bench press strength.


Without a doubt..Pull Ups and D.B. rows


I've had good luck with barbell rows using close to the same grip width I'd use for my comp bench.


This. Plus for me, wide-grip, seated cable rows.


shrugs, bent over rows, hang cleans, snatch, incline shrugs,

Thanks for the all the responses guys. Definately looks like i'm lacking in the trap department, maybe throw in some rack pulls or shrugs or something. I already do pendlay rows, but with a medium grip, I'll try widening that as well. I do chins too, maybe I'll start doing pullups instead as like a bench you use a pronated grip.


chest supported rows with GOOD FORM...




Obviously having a strong back overall really help the bench press but besides BB rows and other basic movements, I have to say that what brang my bench press to the next level is definetely doing Face Pulls. It really strenghten and stabilize the area of the upper back that support all the weight during benching. It also solicite well the rototar cuff. I find this movement highly underused but the benefits of it are certainly very important.



Whenever I don't do these, I start getting rotator cuff issues.


Another thumbs up for face pulls. I also like rows of all types, but for bench assistance especially pendlay, wide cable, and high rows with weights or machines. Seated DB power cleans are good for the external rotators too. Not really a back exercise but definitely helps stabilize the shoulder.

Also, anything that makes my lats bigger and stronger makes my bench go up.


also try hise shrugs, i just seen tate talk about them, on your last set of squats you do them. you get under the bar and with the bar where it would be during your squat you do a shrug and hold for 15 seconds i think he said.


If you have a low bar position, a hise shrug will be hard or impossible to pull off without the bar moving or falling. Try moving it up onto your traps like an olympic squat. You can do reps too, not just holds.