4 Bench Press Tips Everyone Should Know
Do you want to avoid screwing up your shoulder joint? Do you feel as if you bench press is poverty and you should be lifting DOUBLE what you are right now? If so then listen to these 4 tips which will decrease your chances of injury, AND up your benching stats so you can finally be proud of your lifting stats!
1) The Arch
The most powerful position to bench from is an arch. You see powerlifters, strongmen, and even bodybuilders using this technique.
Not because it looks good, but because it reduces the range of motion and prevents too much shoulder rotation. This is important because the less our shoulder has to be retracted; less pressure is going to be placed on it and this will dramatically reduce the chances of you banging your shoulder up.
To get into a decent arch, dig your shoulder blades into the bench and then start to slide your lats into your back pocket.
2) Butt Up - Butt Down
Have you ever struggled to unrack the bar from the rack when benching? I have and it sucks. You spend all this time getting into a strong position, arching your back, pushing your feet out etc but then all of it completely folds because you are unable to correctly get yourself off the bench and into a strong position.
To counter this, we want to take our butt off the bench and begin the unracking of the bar, When you elevate your butt, it puts your body into a decline bench position which is bio-mechanically strong then a flat bench position.
Once the bar is over your chest and you are ready to bench, sit your but back down slowly and making sure that you remain in a tight and solid arch.
3) Elbows, Elbows, Elbows
This is THE BIGGEST bench press mistake of all time. Elbows that are too flared.
Ensure that your elbows are at a 45 degree angle as the bar descends. This will decrease the chances of impingement in your shoulders and reduce the pressure on the elbow joint.
You are also at a bio-mechanical disadvantage when you press from a flared position with your elbows too wide. Imagine you are in a bar-stand off and you are about to push the offender away. Are you going to push with your elbows high, or slightly tucked at 45 degrees?
4) Bar Path
A big misconception with the bench press is that most people think that the bar goes up and down in a straight line. This makes sense because the most efficient path for anything that travels is in a straight line.
But in actual fact, the bar travels in a slightly diagonal path, starting just over you chest at the top, landing below the chest on the sternum in the lowered position, and then back up to being in line with your chest at the top. This is to avoid your elbows flaring too much, which WILL happen if you lower the bar over your neck or upper chest.
The starting position at the top will always be over your chest because it’s the easiest and least unstable position for the bar to be in. Too far close to your face and the bar will crash behind you. Too close to your belly button and you’ll land the weight straight on your privates. Ouch!
The bar will travel down, your elbows will be tucked at 45 degrees, and in this more powerful position, the bar will naturally land just below your chest on your sternum.
Write in the comments below which tip you will try out the next time it’s upper body day in the gym!