Want to master the art of the bench press? I'm here to provide you with a few tips.
First of all, some things to remember:
- Everyone is different and positions will be unique based on your build and mechanics.
- Your feet are the start of a strong base and your power is drawn from it.
Here is how to get started with the Bench Press:
- Keep your feet flat on the ground and pushed back towards your glutes.
- When you un-rack the bar, you want to be close enough that you can easily un-rack it, but be far enough that you don’t hit the pegs on the way up.
- The most important part is stabilizing your shoulders throughout the exercise. This is done by squeezing your shoulder blades together and keeping them down. Pretend you have to squeeze and hold a pencil the whole time during this exercise. A slight arch in you lower back will actually help you maintain a neutral spine (this topic is controversial, and it doesn’t have to be a large arch).
- Your grip will be determined by your body type and which part of your chest you want to focus on. Typically, a taller person with longer arms will have a wider grip, while a smaller person with shorter arms will have a narrower grip. Most people use the rings on the bar as a marker. For safety reasons, you should always wrap your thumbs around the bar.
- Take a deep breath in before you lower the weight, and once you are past the eccentric sticking point, you can exhale as you finish your push.
How far down should you go? Usually 90 degrees is the minimum you should attempt, but with proper mobility work, you should be able to try and hit your chest with the bar. Remember that everyone is different, but I usually try and keep the bar at nipple height.