How to Bench press
Bench press actually an exercise for upper body strength. It works on several muscles, the main one of which is the pectoralis major. This exercise is among the most important ones for the upper body part for it develops the muscles and builds up your strength.
Doing it proper is really important since getting it wrong can affect you disastrously. Therefore, you would better focus on correcting your technique. To do bench press, the person lies on a bench, grasps a weight with both hands and starts lifting it up and down; a process that we will explain in depth below:
How to perform the exercise
Place your feet properly for they create a strong base from which you can drag power. The back of your feet should be pointed as much to your butt as possible while still keeping your feet flat.
Pay attention to your position when you lie under the bar. You should be close enough to the rack to be able to easily reach the weights but not close enough to hit the pegs when you lift. Squeeze together your shoulder blades. Arch your back to protect it – slightly if you are not powerlifting or as much as possible if you are.
Grab the bar tightly as far down on your palm as possible to keep your wrist straight. Do not forget to wrap your thumb around the bar.
Breathe in, brace your abdomen, bend the bar to a U-shape and lower it down while holding your breath. While pushing, breathe forcefully out. In the bottom position your forearms should be at an angle of 90 degrees to the ground.
When you have lowered the bar to your body start moving
it back while driving your legs to the ground and tightening your glutes. Breathe forcefully out while pushing the bar back.
In addition, here are some common mistakes people make:
Mistakes to avoid
They put more weight than they can carry which reduces the effect of the training while increasing the risk of injury.
They flare their elbows – this places extra stress on the shoulders and may lead to an injury.
They bend their wrists – the wrists should be straight, pay extra attention to this.
Lowering the bar to the upper portion of your chest is also a mistake – the bar should be lowered to the mid/lower area of the chest.
Also, do not fall into the trap of not involving your thumb in your grip of the bar since this increase the possibility of you dropping the bar on yourself.
Another common mistake is not using your feet as a base for this leaves you in an unstable position and weakens you. Remember to keep your butt on the bench while you are lifting; do not raise it off the bench or you risk injuring your lower back. And, while talking movements during bench pressing, it is also important to not lift your head and neck during the exercise.
Moreover, from the perspective of safety, do not bounce the bar off your chest. If you have no way to lift the weights but to bounce the bar off your chest, this means you are going too heavy.
And last, but not least, some people make the mistake of lifting without a spotter. Yes, if you are experienced and not lifting your maximum, it might not be such a big problem. However, if you are not experienced, if you are lifting a lot of weight or if you will be bench pressing at home, never lift without having a spotter.