Bench pressing is a staple exercise in many workout routines, and for good reason. It’s an effective compound movement that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps, and helps to build upper body strength. However, proper form is crucial to avoid injury and maximize your gains. In this blog post, we’ll cover 12 essential proper technique bench press form tips to help you perfect your technique and get the most out of this powerful exercise.
Begin by adjusting the bench height to an appropriate level. When lying down, you should be able to unrack the barbell with only a slight bend in your elbows. This will ensure that you can safely lift the bar without straining your shoulders or losing balance.
Lie down on the bench with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Your head, shoulders, and glutes should be in contact with the bench, while maintaining a slight arch in your lower back. This position will provide a stable base for your press and help protect your spine from injury.
Grip the barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Ideally, you want your forearms to be perpendicular to the floor when the bar is at your chest. A wider grip will emphasize the chest muscles, while a narrower grip targets the triceps.
While many people use a full grip, with the thumb wrapped around the bar, a thumbless or “suicide” grip (thumb on the same side as the fingers) can provide better wrist alignment and may reduce strain on the wrists and elbows. However, use caution with this grip, as it can be less secure and may increase the risk of dropping the bar.
Before lifting the bar, pinch your shoulder blades together and push them down towards your hips. This will help to engage your upper back muscles and create a stable platform for the press.
Take a deep breath and brace your core, then unrack the bar with straight arms. Bring the bar directly over your shoulders and ensure that your wrists are stacked above your elbows.
Slowly lower the barbell to your chest, maintaining control and ensuring that your elbows are tucked at a 45-degree angle to your body. Aim to touch the bar to your lower chest, just below the nipple line.
Once the bar touches your chest, pause briefly. This will help to eliminate any momentum and ensure that you’re using your muscles, not inertia, to lift the weight for the proper bench press form.
Push the barbell up and slightly back, towards your face. This will engage your chest and triceps, and help to maintain a stable bar path. Keep your core tight and maintain the slight arch in your lower back throughout the press.
At the top of the movement, fully extend your arms and lock out your elbows. This will activate your triceps and ensure that you’re completing the full range of motion.
Proper breathing is essential for a successful bench press. Inhale deeply as you lower the bar to your chest, then exhale forcefully as you press the weight up. This will help to stabilize your core and provide additional power for the lift.
Having a spotter can provide an extra level of safety, especially when lifting heavy weights or trying a new technique. They can assist with unracking the bar, help you maintain proper form, and provide support if you struggle to complete a rep.
Mastering the bench press is a journey that requires practice, patience, and attention to detail. By following these 12 essential form tips, you’ll be well on your way to improving your bench press technique, increasing your strength, and reducing your risk of injury. Remember, consistency is key, and focusing on proper form will pay dividends in the long run. So, next time you hit the gym, take the time to perfect the proper technique bench press form and watch your gains soar.
Stay up to date on the latest men’s health, fitness and lifestyle trends and tips.
Men’s Fit Club was started with the goal of empowering men to get the most out of their lives. This meant going beyond exercise and diet tips to really address the broad range of issues that men face on a daily basis – topics like recreation, finding love, sexual health and even sound fashion advice.
© COPYRIGHT MEN'S FIT CLUB 2023. All Rights Reserved