How to Bench Press

How to Bench Press

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  • Chest muscles
  • Triceps
  • Deltoids

The bench press can be performed with both a barbell and dumbbells.  This tutorial will be focused on using the barbell. -Terry Asher

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve always found this exercise the most difficult to execute properly and still am not doing it correctly. But thanks to this guide, I now believe that I can perform the exercise in its true form and finally get the concentration of the pecs that I’m currently lacking.

  2. hello dudes.
    good website and good instructions

    i never lock my arms out all the way, i like to keep the tension on so i keep it in a gentle bent.

    holla

  3. Whay do you recomend 12 reps for people who wants to get strong in the bench? Everybody who know power lifting prinsips know that 3 x 3 where you train with 90-95 % of your max is what make you strong…

  4. @ Ali – we don’t recommend 12 reps for people trying to build strength. If you read the title of that section we say that 12 reps is a good place to start for beginners (someone who has never benched before)

    12 reps helps them ingrain the motion for a few weeks before we move them to a strength routine like 5×5.

    Thanks for the comment, you should comment more often as you seem to know a lot about strength training. I like having these discussions with knowledgeable folks…

    -Vic

  5. Hi Vic
    I’ve just started doing the bench press and have a question. When I am at the top of the press, should the bar be over my chest or slightly over my head? I’ve read elsewhere that the motion when you push up is that of an upside down “J”. When I bench press I tend to push straight up, I don’t curve. Which is correct?

    • @Lynne: I personally teach the movement as straight up. But I’ve heard others teach it with the almost curving motion that you speak of. Stay tuned as we are close to finishing filming for an instructional DVD covering all of the major barbell exercises, with Pro-Powerlifter AJ Roberts doing the instructions for the deadlift, squat, and bench press.

  6. Can you add a sub-section on close grips? Since this website seems to be dedicated to functional lifting (as every place should IMO), what better way to attack the tris and bis then by doing close grips. I just yesterday was shown how and why I was doing them all wrong. I was doing them just like a bench press but with my hands close together. The trainer told me to keep my elbows in and push up and out towards my stomach. It changed the way the lift feels, it gets at my tris way more, and puts less stress on my shoulders and forearms.

    • I’m not so sure I’m with you on the functionality of the close grip bench press. But I’m always open to learning. I do occasionally hit the close hand push ups, so really what’s the difference? Maybe you’re on to something here. . .

  7. i’ve read other places that you should pinch your shoulder blades together while doing a bench press? is this true?

  8. what about bouncing the bar off your chest. I witness people bouncing the bar at the bottom off their chest. I know this is incorrect, what damage if any can it do and I bench so that the bar just kisses my chest. Give me some feedback please.

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