Dr. Joel Seedman certainly knows his stuff. He is always exploring variations of exercises as well as standard exercises in order to help others. In the video below, he demonstrates how to do a head off bench press; a variation used when performing chest presses exercises.
The head off bench press is great for ensuring your spine is well protecting, your form is well kept throughout the motion, and it will aid you in getting more power in your lift.
Just as the name states, instead of sitting towards the edge of the bench and having your head resting on the bench, you will scoot back to have your head off the bench.
The base of your neck should rest on the bench which allows for better retraction and your chest sticks out more which allows for enhanced stimulation of the chest. When in this position, you simply follow what you would do in a normal chest press. Squeeze your lats and press the weights up in a controlled motion, ensuring your elbows are not drifting, your back is arched, and your chest is up.
The head off position allows for better shoulder positioning, in turn, aiding with power. Joel states that a number of his clients utilized the head off chest press method due to the fact that they are able to lift more as opposed to the traditional method.
The method can also be used when performing an incline press. It is imperative that you drive through the legs when pressing or else you will find yourself sliding down the bench. The incline requires a bit more control in terms of your whole body.
Next time you are at the gym on chest day, try the head off bench press and see what difference it makes for you!