Learning Proper Bench Press Form

Because the bench press is the most popular weight training exercise, many lifters want to increase their bench strength.This causes many impatient weight trainers to do anything to get up more weight when they bench. Unfortunately, this leads to many lifters not using proper bench press form.

If you work out at a gym, you’ve almost certainly seen lifters that don’t use proper bench press form. They’re the guys who have their entire bodies, besides the upper back, raised above the bench to decrease the distance they have to lift the weight when they bench press. even worse, they may be pretty much dropping the barbell on their chest to get it to “bounce” off of them so they don’t have to deal with that sticking point on the bench press when you start the weight upwards. Besides the fact that they aren’t really doing anything for their chest strength and size, they are also risking injury. To build actual strength and size in the pecs safely, you must use proper bench pressing form.

One thing about proper bench press form is that it’s not a bad thing to decrease the distance you have to lift the weight a little bit. You are doing yourself a disservice if you try bench pressing with a perfectly flat back. You can arch your lower back a bit, but you have to keep your butt on the bench at all times. You should also flex your upper back when you’re bench pressing. Contracting your upper back muscles when you’re benching will pop you pectorals out so that you are actually working the chest muscles better.

For proper bench press form, you need to lower the barbell with complete control of the weight. Not only is it dangerous to practically drop a heavy weight on your chest, it’s also inefficient for building chest size and strength. You need to take advantage of the negative part of a bench press rep.

Once you lower the weight to your chest, concentrate on exploing the weight upward for proper bench press form. This will help start a heavy weight up. Depending on how heavy you are lifting you should either lock out at the top of a rep or come very close to locking out.

When you’re performing a bench press set, keep doing reps until you reach failure. Make sure to have a spotter watching you for safety, and to help get an assisted rep or 2 every now and then.

Once you get proper bench press form down, you’ll be on your way to a stronger bench press and thicker pecs.

Beginners Bench Press Workout

For many beginning weight trainers, the bench press is the exercise they want to get stronger on the most. Everybody knows what the bench press is before they start lifting, so when they decide to weight train, they will likely try to build their pecs and get a big bench.

The first thing you should do when starting a beginners bench press workout program is to learn proper form. Cheating may help you get up more weight, but it’s unsafe and won’t be training your pecs efficiently. You need to lie on the bench with your feet on the floor and a natural arch in your lower back. You should then pop out your chest muscles by pulling in your shoulder blades. Now you’re ready for the actual lift. You do this by unracking the bar and lowering it in a controlled fashioned until it touches your chest, then putting all your energy into lifting it upward. Of course you’ll need to use weight that you can handle without breaking form and you should have somebody spotting you.

Once you get proper form down in your beginners bench press workouts, you need to try to make strength increases regularly. When you’re first starting out, you’ll likely get the biggest strength gains you’ll ever get, so gains should come quickly. You need to try for more weight or more reps with the same weight during each and every workout. You won’t get it every time, but it should happen enough for big gains in your first few months of lifting. Don’t try for too much weight too soon. Five pound increases are enough, and will add up big over time.

Another key to succeeding on a beginners bench press workout routine is to do enough work without doing too much. You have to do enough sets and train hard enough to break down the muscles, but you also have to get enough recovery to allow them to grow in size and strength. Many new weight trainers end up overdoing it. It doesn’t take many intense sets to do the job, so go at it hard and give your body the rest it needs to get a bigger bench.

An excellent beginners bench press workout is as follows (not counting warm up sets) :
Bench press – 2 sets for 8-12 reps
Incline bench – 2 sets for 8-12 reps
Dumbbell flyes or cable crossovers for 12-15 reps
You also try different exercises such as dip, decline presses, and flat and incline benches with dumbbells.

Increasing Bench Press Strength

Increasing bench press strength is something that most people who lift weights want to succeed at. Even if you are more interested in building muscle in the pecs, you’ll still need to get stronger on the bench press to force those muscles to grow. Fortunately, there are many ways to go about increasing bench press strength.

One thing you have to do to increase bench pressing strength is to perform the exercise the right way. Lie on the bench with your feet on the floor and pull in your shoulder blades to contract the upper back muscles and ‘pop’ the chest muscles out. This will decrease the distance you have to lift the weight by a little bit without resorting to cheating. It will also focus the resistance more on the pectorals. If you keep your back flat you will be benching with your front deltoids and triceps more than you need to. It’s a good idea to do some warm up sets for your upper back when you’re warming up on the bench press as it will allow you to flex those muscles a bit more. Always keep your butt on the bench and keep a natural arch in your lower back to perform the bench press properly. Once you get down the right way to do the exercise, you’ll be on your way to increasing bench press strength without cheating.

The shoulders, triceps, and even the biceps to a lesser degree all get involved when you bench. While training all of these muscles with high intensity will help you at increasing bench press strength, you also need to make sure that none of them are sore when you are bench pressing. Any weakness in these muscle groups will negatively affect your benching strength. Set up your routine so that you aren’t training any of these muscles for at least a few days before you bench press. Try following a push pull routine so that you do chest, shoulder, and triceps during the same workout. Do back and biceps during the next workout and legs during the last workout. This will ensure that the muscles that assist the most while you bench press are fully recovered by the time you get to your next chest workout. You’ll be primed and ready to increase your bench press strength.

Of course, to succeed at increasing bench pressing strength you must actually try to lift more weight. Too many lifters end up using the same amount of weight for the same amount of reps and do the same amount of sets during every bench press workout. They never build any real strength and size because their muscles get used to always doing the same thing and they don’t try to go any heavier. You need to always try to lift more weight for the same amount of reps or do more reps with the weight you usually do. Small increases will add up over time. If you train with high intensity and change up your routine, you’ll increase bench press strength and won’t have to spend as much time in the gym.

There are also many weight trainers who take the opposite route and try to train all out for numerous sets on the bench press. They may see some gains at first, then believe that they must keep doing more and more training to succeed at increasing bench press strength. However, doing a ton of sets with some assisted reps is just going to burn a natural weight trainer out and lead to overtraining. You won’t be able to muster up any intensity after a while anyway. If you train hard when you bench, it won’t take very many sets to see strength and size increases.

Increasing bench press strength is something that anybody can do if they go about it the right way. Work hard and be consistent to see positive results.