Bench Press Tips - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Bench Press Tips


      By Dan Trink C.S.C.S Men's Fitness

      Whether you think it’s the king of all exercises or the most overrated movement in the gym, if you look like you work out someone, somewhere, someday is going to ask you “how much ya bench?”. Make sure the answer is always “much more than you” by following these 8 tips for a bigger, better bench press.


      Tip 1: Eyes Under the Bar

      The most important part of bench pressing might just be your set-up. When you lay back on the bench, make sure you line up your eyes directly under the bar. This will help for two reasons. First, it will allow you to pull the bar forward, setting your shoulders and back in the proper “shelf” position (see Tip 4). And it will prevent the bar from hitting the pins as you get close to lock out which will throw off your set.


      Tip 2: Don’t Forget About Your Feet

      There are two main school’s of thought when it comes to foot position during benching. Some people like to keep their feet flat on the floor as they feel like they can deliver more leg drive that way. I, however, recommend taking a tip from power lifters by pulling your feet back (towards your hips) and only keeping the balls of your feet on the floor. You can still get leg drive from this position and it puts your back in a nice arch. Just make sure you keep your butt, shoulders and head on the bench at all times and don’t lift the balls of your feet off the floor.


      Tip 3: Get The Right Grip

      While I don’t like a “false” or thumbless grip during benching for safety reasons, I do recommend placing the bar in the heel of your hand (directly above your wrist). Notice that if you place the bar more towards the base of your fingers or in your palm, your wrist gets bent back. However if the bar rests towards the heel of your hand, you can maintain a straighter wrist position and your forearm lines up directly under the bar, giving you more stability and strength. I also recommend a slightly narrower grip than many people are used to. Just outside of shoulder width. This will allow you to kick in more triceps during the movement.


      Tip 4: Create a Shelf

      It’s easy to think of the bench press as a chest/shoulder/triceps exercise, but if you want to move bigger loads you better start considering it a complete upper body exercise. Make sure that your abs are braced and contract your lats and upper back. By activating these antagonist and synergist muscles you will establish a rock solid “shelf” to press from.


      Tip 5: Make Sure Your Arms are at the Right Angle

      Wow, we’re already at Tip 5 and we haven’t even unracked the bar yet. Ideally, have a spotter help you unrack and set the bar into position. This will allow you to keep the good starting position you’ve established. The classic bodybuilding style of bench pressing has you lowering the bar with your elbows flared out to 90 degrees as that keeps the majority of the tension on your pecs and anterior (front) deltoids. This is great for isolating those muscles, but terrible for shoulder health. I recommend tucking your elbows so they are at 45 degrees, or half-way, between your shoulders and your ribs.


      Tip 6: Find the Perfect Spot

      It’s really important to find a groove when bench pressing. The bar should follow the same path on the eccentric (down) and concentric (up) portion of every rep. Lower the bar to mid-chest or nipple level and press up and slightly back (the bar should be above your collar bones at the top). And, yes, the bar should touch your chest if you are performing full range of motion presses.


      Tip 7: Keep Driving

      Most everyone has a sticking point in their bench press. Most often it is either an inch or two off the chest or around the midpoint when your elbows are at 90 degrees. You’ll hit this point either when you are fatigued from reps or when you are approaching your maximal load (or both). Many people tend to give up easily when they hit this point. Don’t be one of those people. Try driving through that sticking point. It may be a long, slow rep (and you should DEFINITELY have a spotter there to make sure you are safe), but you need to train your body to get past those sticking points or they will always limit your progress. As long as the bar isn’t heading in the wrong direction, keep pushing.


      Tip 8: Stop Benching

      There are many alternate or accessory exercises that will help improve your bench press. Utilize a variety of external rotation and rotator cuff work to make sure your shoulders stay healthy and structurally balanced. Both military presses and pull-ups have shown to have carry over to a bigger bench so make sure they are in your program. Dumbbell presses can also help establish better shoulder stability and a greater range of motion and triceps work will help with a stronger lockout. Finally, the bench press is a pretty demanding exercise on one of the most complicated and injury prone joints in your body, your shoulders. Don’t be afraid to take some time off of bench pressing for a phase to concentrate on some supplemental and injury-preventing movements.

      Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...er-bench-press
      Comments 10 Comments
      1. JReinhal's Avatar
        JReinhal -
        Something about the photo makes me feel as though Im getting hit in the face with sausage.
      1. Mitch5's Avatar
        Mitch5 -
        Originally Posted by JReinhal View Post
        Something about the photo makes me feel as though Im getting hit in the face with sausage.
        Lmao agreed
      1. Cmaestas10's Avatar
        Cmaestas10 -
        Don't forget about lifting heavy... Maybe a no brainer, but it needs mention. I think finding a good program is a good idea too. Westside has a great philosophy that works for a lot of people. I personally respond more to rep work over speed work but it's still a good idea to work on speed since no one lifts a heavy weight slowly. I totally agree on saving your shoulders. A shoulder injury really killed my bench progress and it took years to build back up and breaking through was even tougher. I should be pressing mid threes but I'm at about 300 again.
      1. asdfvtn's Avatar
        asdfvtn -
        Compression clothing is so.. compressing. Things.
      1. 9sec5oh's Avatar
        9sec5oh -
        Originally Posted by JReinhal View Post
        Something about the photo makes me feel as though Im getting hit in the face with sausage.
        LOL!
      1. Goh4N's Avatar
        Goh4N -
        Thats how I do my bench, well most of what the article explains. With the leg drive you can hit them high numbers.
      1. stevenbrianp's Avatar
        stevenbrianp -
        Originally Posted by JReinhal View Post
        Something about the photo makes me feel as though Im getting hit in the face with sausage.
        LOL. What is it with douche bags lifting weights in signlets? I see them in my gym all the time and I wonder what kind of mental process they go through that make them think it is "cool" to go out in public like that.
      1. locograe's Avatar
        locograe -
        Good article. I do most of those things and have actually just taken a good month or two off bench to focus on dumbell presses. I feel that it's helped a huge amount. Did someone say 'why would you train in a singlet?' my answer is why wouldn't you. If you're just a poser who goes to state people down and flex in the mirror then you're a wanker. I find I feel less resricted in my movements when I have a singlet on. It's also a hell of a lot cooler when training (temperature wise)
      1. Mitch5's Avatar
        Mitch5 -
        Originally Posted by locograe View Post
        Good article. I do most of those things and have actually just taken a good month or two off bench to focus on dumbell presses. I feel that it's helped a huge amount. Did someone say 'why would you train in a singlet?' my answer is why wouldn't you. If you're just a poser who goes to state people down and flex in the mirror then you're a wanker. I find I feel less resricted in my movements when I have a singlet on. It's also a hell of a lot cooler when training (temperature wise)
        I wore a singlet in wrestling cause it made sense, but for weight lifting, unless your in a comp/about to be in one where you would wear one. I think it is not necessary to the highest degree. I would feel cool too if I trained naked. Also would feel less restricted if I was naked.
      1. smithouse's Avatar
        smithouse -
        I need a singlet to wear everywhere because its too damn hot outside!!!!!

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