It’s the most ego-boosting exercise in the gym. If you’re nice at it, that is. If you’re not, you’ve probably lied and told people you are. For some reason, the bench press is arguably the most glamorized exercise in all of training — kind of like the 100 meter dash in the Olympics — and it’s the reason men are lined up at the gym on Mondays like a cattle call.
The unfortunate truth is that it may be the most popular lift, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most necessary. In fact, the bench press is far from the most necessary lift. But this fact isn’t going to cease you guys from doing it, so they might as well learn to do it right.
The Setup
 Your lifting will go nowhere in the event you don’t have a proper beginning position. For a lift so giant, it’s not as simple as leaping under the bar and ensuring it touches your chest in the same place every time. Tightness is the key when it comes to the bench press and doing it well. Slide under the bar until your eyebrows are positioned directly below it when it’s on the rack. Next, pull your shoulders back as much as you can and pin them to the bench in that position. This immobility of the shoulder blades is your saving grace when it comes to executing the movement injury-free. It’s the only way to press without risking destroy to your shoulders. For other movements, however, such as the overhead press, pushups and even pullups, having proper mobility and active movement of the shoulder blade promotes a healthy joint capsule and function.
Having the shoulder blades pulled back in the work of the bench press means you’ll generate an arch in your back. If your back is flat against the bench from top to bottom, you’re not set up properly.
The way you position your feet is also vital. Having your feet off the ground or way out in front of your body is a far-too-common practice. Both foot positions sacrifice plenty of strength. Keep your feet tucked in so that your knees are at an angle of 90 degrees or less. This way, you have a powerful, firm base of support from which to drive — yes, pressing hard through the feet will help your bench press!
How about your hands? My first piece of advice would be to squeeze the life out of the bar, irrespective of your grip. You require your force to transfer itself from your target muscles right in to your forearms and hands. This will help keep your wrists from rolling and encourage a powerful, stable lift. Pick a grip that’s comfortable for you, but going wide with the hands will make your shoulders more vulnerable. I recommend a hand width that creates a 90-degree elbow angle when the bar’s on your chest. Make definite you lower the weight to the same point of contact — around the nipple line — every time.
The Press
 Pushing the bar off your chest takes a combination of accuracy and timing. As mentioned earlier, keep in mind to drive the feet hard in to the floor. Press the bar until it finishes directly above your shoulders — not your chest! This is important, as you’ll be in the most supported finishing position when you do so.
One More Thing
 As you lower the bar, feel free to slightly tuck your elbows in toward your body. This position will also help your shoulders, & it’s even more helpful for people with a history of injuries.
Putting it all together — as I always do — here’s a video that breaks down the form for a lovely bench in less than five minutes.

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