Bench Press Quick Guide

We want you to press with a stable base and full body tension. We want to push through any sticking points. The bar should move in a diagonal line from above your shoulders at the top to mid chest at the bottom and back up. Think of yourself as trying to climb up a chimney. You’d want to keep your back pressed firmly against the wall behind you and your hands tight against the wall in front of you. Here are the steps to help you get this:

  • Lay down on the bench with eyes looking straight up and your head just lightly touching the bench. Think about your hair touching the bench and not your head. This ensures that you don’t push with your neck and risk injury. Your eyes should be looking at bottom edge of the bar.
  • Grab the bar with thumbs wrapped around it and your pinkies on or near the marks. Hold it in the base or “heel” of your palms, and keep your wrists straight.
  • Lift your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Pretend a hand is touching there and try to pinch the hand between your shoulder blades.
  • Arch your back naturally. Someone should be able to slide their hand between your back and the bench. Keep your butt and shoulders on the bench throughout the entire movement with a natural arch in your back.
  • Raise your hips and dig your feet into the ground about shoulder width apart and with shins vertical. Try to push your feet through the ground. Think of this as your base of support. Keep this tension all the way from your feet to your chest as you push.
  • Take a big breath and squeeze like you are about to poop. This is how to properly brace your core. Just don’t poop.
  • Unrack the bar and get it over your shoulders with elbows locked out. Fix your gaze on the ceiling looking just above the bar. Don’t let your gaze move from that spot until you have completed the last rep.
  • Lower the bar to mid chest, right about at the center of your Sternum, with elbows tucked and not flaring out. Elbows should be about 75 degrees out from your torso, not 90. A 90 degree angle puts your shoulders in a compromised position and increases risk of injury. Don’t let your breath out at the bottom.
  • As soon as the bar touches your chest, “fire your glutes” and explode up as quickly as possible back to the starting position with elbows locked out. Aim to make the bar hit the place on the ceiling on which your eyes are locked.
  • Let your breath out at the top.
  • Take your next breath, squeeze, and repeat.

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