How to Bench Press
To learn how to bench press, watch this video of this 17 year old guy who weighs 195lbs benching 315lbs (1.6x of his body weight). Rather impressive, especially since his form is good.
How To Bench Press Safely
1. Get a spotter (However, don’t over rely on him. He should be there just to ensure the bar doesn’t fall right smack into your face!)
2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together tightly before getting on the bench. Then let your chest stay up
3. Next, grip the bar tightly.
4. Feet fixed and wide apart. (for your base, but don’t use it to exert or you won’t be hitting your chest that much)
5. Unrack the bar and straighten your arms first. Then make sure sure that the bar is over your nipples.
6. Next, lower the bar in a straight line, with your forearms perpendicular to the ground.
7. Now, press the bar in a straight line as well. Fix a spot at the ceiling where you want the bar to go.
8. Avoid jerky or shaky motions. Do these in a controlled manner.
Bench Press Errors
1. Locking elbows at the top of the movement
- This will lead to the transfer of pressure to your elbows and not on your chest!
2. Bouncing the bar off the chest
- Lower the bar to one inch from your (mid/lower) chest and push the bar up
3. Doing too quickly
- You are supposed to do in a slow controlled motion, check out how to build muscles principle #7 – Load your muscles for a sufficient time
4. Doing heavier than you can realistically do
- This will lead to you pushing your head into the bench (which can cause neck injuries)
- And using your lower back to push the weight up (I sprained mine once! It sucks big time.)
- Get a spotter if you are attempting weights heavier than you can take
5. Bad posture – shoulders rotated forward
- This will again transfer the pressure from your chest to your shoulders.
- Not so much of an issue at light weights, but as you progress, you can welcome torn rotator cuffs if you continue bench pressing with shoulders rotated forward. Dangerous. Period.
6. Benching right off the rack
- You can do so if you want the bar to fall straight down!
7. Bending your wrists
- How to bench press without breaking your wrists?
8. Not training supporting muscles
- This should be the most important answer for how to bench press safely.
- Bench presses trains your front shoulders too, hence you must train your back shoulders if you want to avoid muscular imbalances.
- Train up other supporting muscles such as your arms and GRIP as well, or you will face troubles adding more weight to the bar.
Bench press is one of my favourite exercises. Do it right, do it safe, and it will do wonders for your physique. Here is a SICK video for some encouragement!
Anything is possible! Don’t be constrained by self limiting beliefs!
Related article: Ectomorph Chest Workout Routine