The Spoto press, also known as the invisible board press, was pioneered by a known bench press world record holder, Eric Spoto. It is a bench press variation that activates the chest, triceps, and anterior deltoids while stimulating the central nervous system.
This exercise is often an accessory movement to help individuals execute the bench press more efficiently by clearing a midway sticking point. This is because most weightlifters are more muscular at the chest due to better back activation-that can fasten your progress.
The Spoto press is more complex than the standard bench press; therefore, it isn’t ideal to attempt this workout with a similar working load.
Also known as: Invisible Board Press
Targeted Muscles: Chest, Pecs, Triceps
Secondary Muscles Targeted: Abs, Obliques
Exercise Type: Strength/ Hypertrophy
Exercise Mechanics: Compound
Force Type: Push (Bilateral)
Required Equipment: Barbell, Flat Bench
- When you’re prepared for the exercise, you want to ensure your body is positioned to maximize your strength and minimize the chances of sustaining workout injuries.
- Put a barbell on a rack and load weight, making sure that the amount of weight is equal on both ends of the bar.
- Lie on the bench such that your head is below the barbell. Plant your feet firmly on the floor on either side of the bench.
- Using an overhand grip, grasp the barbell at a distance slightly wider than your shoulders. Lift the bar up to unrack the barbell and stretch your elbows to hold the barbell directly above your chest.
- Breathe in as you bend your elbows outwards to bring the barbell towards your body. Take a slight pause when the barbel almost makes contact with your chest. Pause and hold the position for a few seconds.
- Exhale, flex your elbows, and push the barbell upwards to rack the bar and assume the starting position.
- Repeat the motion for the recommended sets of reps before returning the barbell to the rack.
- Avoid the urge to roll your wrists back and extend them. Focus on rolling your knuckles upwards.
- Experiment with width grip depending on the length of your arms. If you have longer arms, practice with a slightly wider grip.
- As you lower the bar, aim for your breastbone or a little lower, depending on the length of your upper arm, to focus the drill on a linear path.
- It is ideal to practice this drill using an overhand grip as a beginner. Advanced and elite lifters can use the thumbless grip.
- With every rep, ensure the barbell makes contact with your chest. If you’re looking to train with specific ranges of motion, consider board presses or resistance bands.
- If you want to maximize the chest and tricep tension, halt each rep just short of lockout at the top.
- Ensure the bar aligns with your wrist and ensure you execute the movement in a straight line. Set the bar as low in the aim as possible while still able to execute using an overhand grip.
MUSCLES WORKED BY SPOTO PRESS EXERCISE
Chest: The bench angle focuses the tension on the upper chest fibers.
Triceps: As you perform the Spoto press, the triceps facilitate the lockout phase at the top of the rep. This exercise guarantees total arm strength and generally enhances them.
You can differentiate your training method to maximize the effectiveness and general results.
BENEFITS OF THE SPOTO PRESS EXERCISE
INCREASED UPPER BODY AND PRESSING STRENGTH
The Spoto press exercise is a bench press variation ideal for improving the pressing power, particularly at the horizontal plane. Building your pressing strength facilitates a vast range of other pressing exercises.
Improving your pressing strength in this workout means you’re likely to execute a greater incline, dumbbell, or overhead press.
The Spoto press exercise primarily targets the triceps, chest, and deltoids but can engage muscles of the entire body if performed with the correct form and body posture. This exercise will engage your stabilizer muscles and activates almost the whole-body muscles, including the abs, obliques, the back, and leg muscles.
Mastering this movement may take a while, therefore, remember to be patient to master the technique as required.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE SPOTO PRESS EXERCISE
DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS
Dumbbells are more accessible and easier to handle than barbells, especially for newbies. The dumbbell chest press targets the same musculature as the Spoto press exercise.
- Lie on a bench and hold dumbbells using both hands at your chest level on your back.
- Position your palms to face your feet and make sure your feet are firmly planted on the floor.
- Start stretching your arms and lift the dumbbells above your chest on the floor. Ensure your arms are directly over your shoulders when you reach the top of the rep.
- When your arms are fully stretched, pause, and lower the weight back to your shoulder level.
- That’s a complete rep! Keep going.
You will realize an increased motion range with dumbbells compared to a barbell.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING THE SPOTO PRESS EXERCISE
GOING TOO HEAVY
As your upper body strains at the concentric phase, your hips will naturally rise to control your chest positioning. This move will distort the form and will not engage the targeted muscles.
Correct this mistake by using a lighter load and focusing on executing the exercise with the correct form. This will help you control the motion fully.
CHANGING THE GRIP WIDTH
You may be tempted to constantly change your grip when performing the reps. This move is an enemy of your progress. Your progress will be hard to measure, and you will not be able to master your ideal grip width for the Spoto press.
Use a grip that will enable you to focus on the muscles you’re targeting and maintain the stance to keep the focus unless you want to focus on a different muscle group.
Avoid experimenting on your workouts and consider training with a certified fitness instructor to ensure healthy progression in your training.
The Spoto bench press is an ideal exercise if you’re looking to build your chest, delts, and arms. If you’re new to this exercise, consider working with a certified fitness instructor and develop routines based on your workout goals.
You can gradually level up the exercise by adding weight as you perfect your technique.
Do not overestimate your lifting abilities. Ensure you lift the appropriate weight for your fitness level.
To witness the best results, remember consistency is key. Nourish and rest adequately for muscle repair.
Try it out!