I’m quite sure you have already seen guys at the gym doing this exercise. But are you sure they are doing it properly? The right way? The safe way? Are YOU doing it correctly?
The Bench Press is one of the most important bodybuilding exercises of all time. Unfortunately, I have seen many guys who twist their wrists or get injured. And all this is due to improper form, weight or grip.
Now, Why Proper Bench Press Form is Crucial
The improper bench press may lead to multiple types of injuries. They may occur while performing the bench press or afterward. Torn pec, ligaments in shoulders, trapezius muscle injury, elbow or wrist strains, and many other injuries can be caused by an improper bench press form, weight or grip.
Luckily, there is a way to avoid getting injured. Actually, there is only one thing you need to do. You need to learn how to bench press. The right way. The safe way. Don’t copy what someone else is doing in the gym. Unless, of course, he’s a professional.
So, you want to develop and build mass in your upper body, as well as get stronger? Great! The bench press is the perfect exercise, whether you are a beginner or a professional bodybuilder.
Keep on reading to find out how to bench like a pro or, basically, everything you need to know.
Step by Step Guide on How to Bench Press Like a Pro
The bench press is used in weight training, bodybuilding and other types of training to develop the chest muscles. After all, who doesn’t want a strong, wide chest? However, unless you are 100% sure your posture is proper, then you need to improve your technique.
The most important thing when doing an exercise is the proper execution. Truth be told, proper execution of the movement itself and the entire exercise is what makes the entire difference. The difference between achieving results and not seeing even the slightest change in your body even after months of hard work in the gym.
Let’s see the steps and the most important tips you need to follow.
Step #1: Start by lying flat on a gym bench press with your eyes under the bar
Place your feet firmly on the ground so you can generate power. Ensure your hands are just outside of shoulder width. Squeeze your shoulder-blades.
Step #2: Grab the bar. Breathe in. Unrack the bar. Breathe Out.
Attention! Always keep a slight arch in your lower back.
Step #3: Inhale as you slowly lower the bar by unlocking your elbows.
Lower the bar until it touches your chest.
Step #4: Exhale as you push the bar up until your arms are extended.
Make sure you push the bar up in a straight line. Don’t let the bar swing and don’t allow your elbows to lock.
Step #5: Repeat from Step #3
The goal is to get stronger and build a better-looking chest, right? The key is proper exercise execution. However, there are many variations of the Bench Press, as well as different grips. Knowing which exercise which muscle group targets will help you achieve maximum results.
So, let’s dive in.
The bench press is probably the best exercise for your upper body. It works multiple muscle groups. The main ones are the pectoralis major (makes the bulk of the chest muscles), anterior deltoids (forms the rounded contour of the shoulder), triceps brachii (the three-headed muscle that locks out the elbows), biceps brachii (flexes the forearm), and latissimus dorsi (the largest muscle in the upper body, placed on the back).
Different Bench Press Variations and Muscles Worked
- Flat Bench Press targets the pectoralis major with a focus on the lower head and the anterior deltoid muscle.
- Incline Bench Press elevates the shoulders and lowers the pelvis, and emphasizes the anterior deltoids with a focus on the upper head of the pectoralis major.
- Decline Bench Press emphasizes the lower portion of the pectoralis major, and elevates the pelvis and lowers the head.
- Wide Grip Bench Press targets the pectorals and places a greater emphasis on the shoulder flexion.
- Close Grip Bench Press targets the triceps brachii and utilizes more elbow extension.
- Reverse Grip Bench Press utilizes an underhand grip on the bar.
Always use a spotter. Always! Unless you bench press in the power rack, you always need a spotter. You never know when your arms might fail you. When you do use a spotter, make sure you give him a sign that you are ready to lift. You might even let him help you with the lift-off.
Here’s the bottom line…
After reading this article, you now know how to bench press properly, effectively and most of all safely. Increased upper body push strength, bigger and stronger pecs and crazy strong triceps? Who doesn’t want that? Include the bench press in your chest workout or even shoulder workout as it is the best bodybuilding exercise.