The Bench Press: All You Need To Know

If you’re building chest muscles, you probably do bench presses. It’s one of the best-known upper body exercises. It’s more than just a chest exercise. It works your arms, shoulders, back, and glutes. For it to be effective, you have to know the proper form throughout the exercise. Doing it wrong can even be dangerous. Rather than worrying about how many sets you’ll do, number of reps, or even how much you’ll lift, focus on form first. When you do it right, you’ll get faster results.

People do bench presses for different reasons.

While most people do bench presses to get into shape or build more impressive muscles, some do it to build powerlifting strength. There are differences in how to do the bench press. For most people, not powerlifters, the first step is to get into position, laying back on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. If you look up, you’ll see the barbell directly above your eyes. Your bottom and your upper back should be pressing the bench, so your back should have a slight arch.

Inhale deeply and press your feet into the floor to start.

Squeeze your shoulders tightly together and remove the barbell from the rack. It’s vital to arch your back as you remove the bar. It helps keep the spine in a neutral position. Grip the bar. Hold it as far down onto the palm as possible. If you hold it too high, it can cause your wrists to bend too far back. Keep your wrist straight. Breathe in deeply and hold as you lower the bar. It helps brace the abdominal wall. Bring the barbell forward, directly over your shoulders. Allow your elbows to break and lower the bar toward your chest.

The barbell will make contact based on your body and grip width.

The shorter your arms or the closer your grip, the lower the bar will be on your chest. Once it touches, pause for a few seconds and push it back into the starting position. The movement will be up and back toward the head and your elbows, wrists, and shoulders are aligned. Blow out forcefully as you push the bar back.

  • Your feet and legs play a vital role in your movements. Even though you’re lying down, you’ll boost the force of the lift if you drive your feet into the ground as you lift.
  • Don’t bounce the bar off your chest. It doesn’t let your body stay tight, can put too much pressure on the sternum, and doesn’t work your muscles as much, since you’re using the bounce as an aid.
  • Proper breathing is key to maximizing the benefits of the bench press. Make sure you breathe and hold to brace your body. It can help you work your upper body more effectively by allowing you to lift more weight.
  • Don’t roll your shoulders forward. Keep the braced position with your shoulder blades held tightly. Don’t roll your shoulders forward. It makes your feet move, causing instability. It can make the lift more dangerous.

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