A specific form to the bench press reduces the chance of injury and maximally challenges the muscles of the chest. A barbell bench press starting position has the weight lifter lying on a bench, with the shoulder blades pinched together to create a stable, solid base for the press, also used in power-lifting to reduce the range of motion. The lifter keeps their feet flat on the ground or at end of the bench, with the buttocks always in contact with the bench. Powerlifters will arch their back to provide greater stability and to reduce their range of motion allowing them to move more weight. In doctrine, when the lifter grips the bar, their hands are at a position so that when the bar is lowered to the chest, the forearm is at right angles (vertical) to the ground. The movement begins by lifting the bar off the rack, and lowering it until the bar is motionless on the chest before being pressed under control to the start position. The movement is completed when the elbows are locked out. After the desired number of repetitions, the weight lifter returns the bar to the “rack”. Because the load on the bar above the chest can be heavy, a spotting partner increases the safety of the movement.
Muscles Targeted: Pectorals (Chest Muscles), Triceps and Deltoids (Front Shoulder Muscles)
Most injuries in the gym happen when doing The Bench Press. One reason is of course because it’s the exercise done the most. Other reasons are not using the following tips.
• No Thumbless Grip. Use your thumbs when doing the Bench Press. You don’t want the bar to slip out of your hands.
• Start Light. Add weight gradually. You’ll get a feeling of what you can & can’t handle while learning proper Bench Press technique.
• Ask Someone to Spot. Spotters will help you if you get stuck with the bar on your chest.
• Put the bar in the palm of your hand. Close to your wrists, not close to your fingers. Squeeze the bar so it doesn’t move.
• Tighten your neck muscles, without pushing your head into the bench.
• Close Grip Bench Press. Shoulder width grip. Emphasis triceps.
• Reverse Grip Bench Press. Palms facing you. Also emphasis triceps.
• Incline Bench Press. From an incline bench. Emphasis shoulders.
• Decline Bench Press. From a decline bench. Allows more weight.
• Floor Press. Bench Press while lying on the floor. More triceps.