How to Bench Press

Bench Press Setup

  • Plant head, shoulders, butt, and both feet on the bench or floor
  • Plant feet as far behind you as possible (as close to your head as possible) to keep you tight and prevent you from raising your butt off the bench
    • Go up onto your toes to create even more tightness and guarantee that you won’t raise your butt
    • Keep your whole foot on the ground if you don’t raise your butt of the bench
  • Lower back should be at least slightly arched
    • Someone should be able to slide a piece of paper under your low back
    • The higher the arch, the shorter the range of motion which allows you to lift more weight
      • A high arch does not hurt your spine if done properly
  • Dig shoulder blades into the bench
  • Unrack and position the bar over the chest


Downward Movement

  • Lower the bar by bringing the elbows slightly in (wrenching/screwing motion with shoulder blades)
  • Touch your chest at nipple level or slightly under nipples
  • Do not bounce the bar off your chest


Pressing Up

  • Use leg drive by pushing backwards toward your head, not upwards
  • Keep head, shoulders, butt, and both feet firmly placed on the bench and floor
  • Press elbows out once your elbow reaches a 90 degree angle
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