Bench Press: Technique Guide

Bench Press: The Complete Technique Guide

1. Equipment

Bench presses don’t need anything other than your body and barbell, but some accessories and equipment will help you do the exercise safer and more efficiently.

Hand Bandages

The main piece of my bench press equipment is the wrist bands. To lift the maximum weight, you need to generate maximum effort. To do this, you need to keep the brushes in a straightened position. Wrist wraps help keep your wrists in place, so I recommend using them at all times.

The wrist bandage should cover the wrist joint completely, therefore the length of the bandage should allow you to safely wrap it above and below the joint. I like the 45-60cm bandages as they allow me to make enough loops around the joint. However, you can use any bandage in the range of 30 to 90 cm.

How tight to wrap – decide for yourself. In general, the denser the better, the main thing is not to pain or numbness of the fingers. A tight bandage will give your hands extra support under heavy load.

Footwear

Legs are your foundation. This is your body’s “point of contact” with the ground, so your shoes matter – even during the bench press! In general, the choice of the model is purely personal, but it will be nice if a pair of sneakers on your feet provides good traction on the floor.

I love weightlifting shoes – powerlifting shoes. Because of the raised heel, they give me the feeling of better ground contact. Plus, they have a really grippy outsole that keeps my feet from slipping. However, many people prefer flat-soled shoes, such as wrestling shoes or wrestling shoes. Whatever you choose, try to keep your feet firmly in place with each set of bench press.

Try to keep your feet firmly in place in every set of bench press.

a piece of chalk

I like to apply chalk to the shoulders and upper back. Whichever part of my back I rest on the bench, the chalk prevents slipping and helps me create a stronger foundation for the bench press.

Of course, chalk is not a must, but if you are lifting a really big weight and you are lucky enough to train with a partner, ask him or her to chalk your back. I guarantee you will feel the difference both in stability and in numbers.

2. Preparation

The position of your body under the bar has a huge impact on your bench press technique and your personal bests. Don’t take this question lightly. My recommendations will help you lift maximum weight without unnecessary risk!

Stop position

While the position of your feet in the bench press is not as important as in the deadlift or squat , you shouldn’t forget about your legs. Your feet are the beginning of a strong frame and the place from which to generate force.

Try to move your feet as close to the buttocks as possible, but so that their entire surface is on the floor. Depending on height and body type, it will look a little different for everyone. The main thing is that your feet rest firmly on the floor, so that you can generate force from your legs and through your entire body.

Back position

As well as the position of the feet, the position of the back will be unique for everyone, depending on the physique and biomechanics. It is necessary, however, to be located on the bench high enough to make it easier to remove the bar from the racks, but not so high as to cling to the stops during the press. Bring your shoulder blades together to lock in your core and protect your shoulders. Imagine you want to crush grapes between your shoulder blades and press your upper back into a bench.

Back deflection

Quite a controversial point, especially among bodybuilders. Many of them think that arching the back is a powerlifting technique, but in fact, arching in the lower back will help you keep your spine in a neutral position and protect it during the bench press.

Unless you’re a powerlifter, the back arch shouldn’t be too conspicuous. However, always keep a slight backbeat. Well, if you are a powerlifter, bend your back as much as possible to shorten the barbell’s trajectory.

Bench Press: Technique Guide

Always keep a slight backbeat

Grip

Grab the bar firmly and confidently! The bulk of the weight should be on the lower palm. If you hold the bar high or even with your “fingers”, your wrist will bend backward, while only a straight wrist gives maximum effort.

The grip width depends on the physique. People with long arms need a wider grip, athletes with relatively short arms need a narrower one. In any case, do not go to extremes. Also, I do not recommend using a one-sided or open grip. Be sure to wrap your thumbs around the bar.

Bench Press: Technique Guide

The grip width depends on the physique

Breath

Take a deep breath, remove the bar from the racks and then exhale. Take another deep breath before lowering the projectile. Hold your breath and contract your abdominal muscles. Do not exhale until you have passed the dead center of the concentric bench press, and then exhale with force.

Removing the bar from the racks

Do not waste energy lifting the bar from the racks, especially if you are working with a decent weight. If you don’t have a partner to help you, push your back against the bench with all your strength and simply lift the barbell up.

3. Execution

So, you took a deep breath and tightened your abdominal muscles, it’s time to lower the projectile. At this point, try to imagine that you are bending the barbell with your hands in a U-shape. This “bending” of the bar will help you naturally fit your elbows, engage your lats, and protect your shoulders.

The point of contact of the bar with the chest depends on the length of the arms and the width of the grip. In any case, at the lowest point, the forearms should be at a 90 degree angle to the floor. If the angle is less or more, you lose strength.

Bench Press: Technique Guide

At the lowest point, the forearms should be at a 90 degree angle to the floor.

If you have long arms and a tight grip, the bar will touch your chest slightly below. If the arms are short and the grip is wide, the barbell touches the chest a little higher. In most cases, the point of contact is somewhere between the upper abdomen and the nipple line. Be that as it may, try to touch the same point every repetition.

As soon as the barbell touches the body, begin to squeeze the projectile, straining your buttocks and resting your feet on the floor. No, this is not cheating. The momentum from your legs will allow you to better lock your body and lift more weight.

As you lift, imagine that you are throwing the barbell up. The path should resemble an arc like an inverted “J”.