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How to bench press in good form

Updated on February 29, 2012

How to bench press?

With summer approaching the clothes start to come off. And all the late gym joiners are looking to pump up the mirror muscles. So I decided to write an article on how to bench press and please note if it is June 6th (the time I am writing this) you will not see progress in time for the beginning of summer. This is the typical bench press for a novice.

Please ensure that you warm up for at least 5-10 minutes as to not injure yourself. Doing a warm up will get your blood flowing so you can deliver the optimal amount of effort and achieve the best results.

A gif to display how to bench press

The steps on how to bench press

First, lie flat on the bench and keep your balance equal from right to left. This will ensure the proper muscle groups are targeted

Second, your feet have to stay on the ground at all times, and not move (so no tippy toes).If your legs are not long enough and you find your feet dangling grab some blocks or plates to stabilize you. Your knees will be bent at 90 degrees, and your feet will be on either side of the bench. Likewise a narrow stance will not allow for proper stability. You will want to be stable through the entire range of motion.

Third, tuck your shoulder blades below your body and keep them together. Doing this will raise the ribcage and stabilize the shoulders. Again keep this tight through the entire press. Doing this may feel awkward but it will avoid any rotator cuff injuries.

Fifth, without allowing your shoulders to roll forward and lose tightness reach up with each hand and grab the center of the bar. Your hand spacing should place your pinkies within an inch or two of the smooth ring. Wrap your thumbs around the bar and allow the bar to rest along the heel of the hand.

Sixth, lift the bar and move it out so that the bar and weight is directly over the lower chest area.

Seventh, from a stationary position with the bar above your lower chest, inhale and maintain tightness in the upper back and lower the bar to your chest in a controlled manner. Do not flare your elbows out as this will cause injury and not focus the development on your chest

Eight, lower the bar to just above your t-shirt not to your chest. Doing this will avoid you from hurting your chest by not dropping the bar on it

Ninth, steadily raise (press) the bar. Do this motion evenly between each arm and do not completely lockout your elbows. Doing so would risk hyper-extension.

Now you have completed one repetition of a clean formed bench press! Repeat as needed

Bench Press

Please note that on the last rep of the set, do not raise the bar directly toward the rack. your last rep should look exactly like the first. Once the weight is directly above your lower chest allow the bar to fall back towards the rack.

And there you go a proper bench press to help you get those Baywatch ready pecs… or breasts but let's not just work out our mirror muscles you need a good leg press exercise to get that butt firm too

Muscle's are made in the Kitchen

Make sure that you eat properly and drink enough water to support your goals. Diets and eating properly will help you slim down. remember to stay hydrate and be aware of your nutrition facts

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    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 7 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Great description of the proper way to bench press. I was doing it a little wrong and I didn't know I could be hurting myself. Thanks.

    • Greatlife profile image

      Greatlife 7 years ago

      Useful and practical guide, always been a fitness freak this makes sense.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      I appreciate this helpful information as I work to keep my upper body strong. I've always been a wee bit small and gangly and strong muscles comes best with good weight lifting great tips thanks :)