The Proper Bench Press (with video)
Every guy knows this is the exercise that really counts. Tell anyone you have been working out and they will ask you what your bench press max is to gauge your success. While the bench press gets a lot of love, we all know this is just one of many important exercises and not the only one that matters in building a sculpted body.
The bench press mainly works your pectoralis major muscles, better known as your pecs. However, it also affects your shoulder and arm muscles, particularly your triceps. It is often considered to be the most important upper-body exercise because you lift more weight when you bench press than any other upper-body exercise.
Proper form will help you get the best gains and the biggest chest while keeping you safe from any potential injury associated with this exercise. Here is how to do a proper bench press:
At the Top
Lie flat on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and the bar above your eyes. Lift your chest slightly, pull your shoulder blades together and place your hands on the bar slightly wider than shoulder width. As a general guideline, try to line up the outside of your hands with the ring marks on the bar.
Make sure your lower back is slightly rounded and your wrists are straight. Taking a deep breath, lift the bar up and out of the rack by straightening your arms and move the bars over your shoulders. Your arms will lock at the top of each rep.
At the Bottom
Lower the bar down slowly until it just touches the bottom of your sternum. But do notbounce the bar off your chest; this can cause serious injury. Hold your breath when you get to the bottom. At this point, your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor.
Keep in mind, at this point in the exercise, your chest should be lifted, your lower back should be slightly arched and your elbows should be pointed outward.
Press the bar back upwards, lifting from the bottom of your sternum up to above your shoulders where you started your rep. Lock your elbows at the top and breathe. Then repeat again from the beginning.
Once you have the bench press form down, try out Gary Edward’s 4-week Bench Workout.
Proper Bench Press Form with MR Athlete Nixon Chong