- Setup for the bench barbell bench press by setting the height of the rack (if it's adjustable) and adding the weight you're going to use.
- Lie back on a the flat bench. Using a medium width grip and palms facing forward (a grip that creates a 90-degree angle in the middle of the movement between the forearms and the upper arms), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position.
- Slowly lower the bar straight down to the middle of your chest. Don't let the bar touch your chest! Pause, then slowly raise the bar back up. Do not lock your elbows out or rest at the top, go straight back into your next rep.
- Repeat for desired reps.
- Place the bar back on the rack.
Bench Press Tips:
The bench press is one the best exercises for building the chest. Here's some tips on benching with good, safe technique:
- Make sure you grip with bar with your thumbs around the front. This is the only safe way to bench. Too many people have got injured when the bar has slipped forward and fallen on their chest or even worse, neck!
- It's common for some lifters to bounce the bar off their chest. The bar should not touch the chest at all throughout the set.
- Locking the elbows out at the top of the movement makes the exercise easier, takes the pressure off the target muscles, and makes the exercise less effective. Always stop before your elbows lock out and immediately start slowly lowering the bar for the next rep.
- Another common practice amongst lifters is to use heavy weights and not lower the bar all the way down and up. Although this technique is good for shocking the muscles, you should always use the longest rep range possible without locking your elbows or touching your chest.
- Rep timing should slow enough that you control the weight on the way down. Letting the weight drop really quickly is not productive because the muscles do not have to work as hard on the negative phase of the movement. This makes the exercise less effective.
- Keep your feet firmly planted on the floor. Your feet provide the stabilization for the lift, if you hold them up or flap them around you're move likely to lose balance.
- Make sure you have the right grip on the bar. Your hands should be wider than shoulder width, as demonstrated in the video. If your grip is too narrow your shoulders will take over as the prime movers in this exercise.
- Make sure you lower the bar straight down to your middle chest and push it straight up. Don't deviate from this range of motion.
- Your glutes and shoulder blades should be touching the bench at all times throughout the set. It's OK to arch the back as long as the glutes and shoulder blades are fixed.