Walk into any gym and you’re guaranteed to see the bench press in action. But just like the deadlift, it’s also one of the most common exercises that gym goers perform incorrectly.
You’ve probably heard the question “What do you bench?” bandied around, but proper technique is much more important than weight. Follow these 4 easy steps to mastering the bench press and sculpt your chest and shoulders while avoiding injury.
Lie back on a flat bench. Using a grip that creates a 90-degree angle in the middle of the movement between the forearms and the upper arms, lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position.
From the starting position, breathe in and begin bringing your arms down slowly. You want your elbows to remain tight at about a 45 degree angle.
Continue lowering the bar until it touches the middle of your chest.
After a brief pause, push the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out. Focus on pushing the bar using your chest muscles. Softly lock your arms at the top of the motion, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again to the middle of your chest. You should always be in control of the bar, not the bar in control of you.
- If you are new to this exercise, it is advised that you use a spotter. If no spotter is available, then be conservative with the amount of weight used.
- Also, beware of letting the bar drift too far forward. You want the bar to touch your middle chest and nowhere else.
- Don’t bounce the weight off your chest. You should be in full control of the barbell at all times.