How to Bench Press Properly & Effectively


how to bench press properly

The Bench Press

If you go to virtually any gym in the world, it’s almost an absolute guarantee that you will find a bench press. The bench press has been a staple of the fitness world since it’s inception, as well as a barometer of how accomplished a gym rat you truly are. After all, what is a more frequently asked question than “what do you bench?”

I discussed the bench press as a pectoral exercise a bit in a previous entry, but this time, I’d like to look at technique. As with all exercises, good technique is absolutely imperative to not only minimize the risk of injury, but to also get the results from the exercise you’re seeking.

Just laying flat on a bench and pressing a bar up and down, however, will not stimulate your pectorals efficiently unless we take a few other steps to ensure we are truly using the target muscle group as opposed to the stabilizers such as in this case, the anterior delts, traps, etc.
The first thing to do before pressing the bar off the rack is to get a grip that’s outside of shoulder width. The wider the grip, the more pectoral is going to be used. The more narrow, the more triceps are used. The next thing is to squeeze your shoulder blades together, and keep them there, throughout the entire range and duration of the exercise.

The third thing to do, is to make sure your rib cage is up and your abdominal muscles are engaged. This not only protects your back, but also helps in keeping the shoulder blades in place as well as prevents shrugging of the shoulders, which in turn, forces the anterior delts into taking over much of the press instead of the pectorals. The bar should be lowered to the middle of your chest, or just an inch above it if you prefer. Elbows have to be directly underneath the hands in order to keep from injuring the supraspinatus, amongst other things.

As with anything, don’t overdo it, and start gently. Mastering the technique before cramming the bar with weights will yield far greater results and help keep you off the disabled list.

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Andy
My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
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How to Bench Press Properly & Effectively
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How to Bench Press Properly & Effectively
Description
Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey writes of how to bench press properly as well as who should avoid the bench press exercise and seek out alternative exercises for the pectorals.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270