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8 Great Tips for a Better Bench Press

Stop stressing your shoulders when you bench press. Hit new PRs with these benching tips.

Jim Smith, CSCS
8 Great Tips for a Better Bench Press

The most revered strength training exercise and one of the big “3″, the bench press is rarely performed correctly. It seems in every gym across America, every Monday is national bench day. But unfortunately, we should label every Monday national “wreck your shoulders” day. 

The Proper Way to Bench Press

There are very important key points to remember when performing the bench press to ensure healthy shoulders and longevity. In fact, these key points apply to the majority of all horizontal pressing movements.

1. Keep a tight grip on the bar at all times, a tighter grip equates to more tension in the lower arms, upper back and chest.

2. Keep your chest up (thoracic extension) throughout the movement.

3. Elbows should be tucked and end up at approximately 45 degrees from your side.

4. Unrack the weight and take a deep breath and hold it.

5. Row the weight down to your chest by pulling the bar apart like a bent over row. Do not relax and let the weight drop.

6. Back, hips, glutes and legs are tight and isometrically contracted.

7. When you touch your chest, drive your feet downward and reverse the movement.

8. Lock out the elbows WITHOUT losing your arch and thoracic extension.

In this "How To Bench" video, you’ll learn the perfect elbow correction, why leg drive is important for a big bench, how to setup your arch and upper back, plus a whole lot more. This video teaches you that the bench is a full body lift, not just an upper body exercise.


Next Up: Bench Press Considerations

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