The Slingshot ™ is a simple and effective device that allows lifters to progressively overload, while also teaching proper technique and preventing injury. The Slingshot was developed by renowned powerlifter, Mark Bell, who wanted to design a product that would allow him to continue doing bench press despite repeated shoulder injuries.
Made from elastic material, the Slingshot fits around the upper arms of the elbows, just above the elbow, crossing in front of the torso. The elastic pull of the Slingshot helps keep the lifter’s shoulders safe by preventing excessive shoulder abduction and hyperextension (two of the most common bench press errors/injuries).
Besides keeping the shoulders safe, the Slingshot can enable the lifter to increase strength via the overload principle. At the top of the bench press position, the Slingshot does not provide any assistance to the lifter. As the bar is lowered to the chest the Slingshot stretches across the lifter’s torso, and the elastic energy helps the lifter initiate the press. Since the lifter has the added force from the slingshot, they can lift greater amounts than would be otherwise possible, thus creating an overload stimulus. As previously stated, the Slingshot does not provide any lift assistance at the top range of motion. Thus while the lifter may be assisted in lifting the bar off of their chest, they finish the rep under their own power, presumably with more weight than they may be able to if unequipped with a slingshot. Ergo, the neuromuscular system is subjected to higher forces, creating a greater stimulus to adapt i.e. become stronger.
I recommend the Slingshot for new lifters needing to work on technique, lifters stuck at a plateau with their bench, lifters who continue to fail at the top half of their bench and those returning from an injury, particularly one to the shoulder.