Chest Supported Rear Delt Fly
I like this one a lot as a bench accessory. At first, it might not seem like the most intuitive accessory, but let’s take a look at it. You’re abducting the humerus of each arm, and retracting the scapulae. When it comes to performing the bench, what are you doing when you set up? If you answered “retracting the scapulae” you are 100% correct. Scapular retraction is a critical component of the bench press, and you need to develop that. For one thing, locking them in place ensures a more stable set of shoulders. Second, and combined with your arched back, you reduce the range of motion on the lift. If you are a competitive powerlifter, this advantageous. More pounds lifted equals a better total.
The best way to help your bench when doing these is to have a forward lean. With the lean, you get more chest recruitment due to more horizontal shoulder adduction. Not only that, this mimics my (and Louie Simmons’s) preferred bench press path. The shortest point from A to B is a straight line. Some schools of thought advocate a slight curvilinear bar path with the bench press, sometimes called the C motion. If you opt for Louie’s way, your bench will have the feel of a decline bench, and the line from A to B will be shorter. And the dip can help reinforce that.
Furthermore, practicing dips will help with another critical aspect of the bench. That is, scapular depression while pushing. Other motions, like pull-ups, will depress your scapulae, but only in terms of pulling. The dips force you to depress your scapula by pushing. And scapular depression is important in your bench set up. So if you combine the dips with the previous exercise, these two components will make you get stronger. For more applicability, add some weight to a belt when you decide to practice your dips.
Unilateral Dumbbell Bench Press
Just like you see in the video. You bench press while holding just one dumbbell in your hand. This serves as an anti-rotation exercise for your core. The advantage of that is that it helps you get tighter for your barbell bench. Not only that, it will help you feel where you need to be tight when you perform it. There are many ways to do this, but in order to achieve the max benefits, do it with one hand empty and one hand holding the weight.
To make it even better, apply all the bench press rules you already do. Depress the shoulder blades, retract them, and lock them.