The bench press is probably the most discussed exercise in the world. It’s the move almost every man who visits the gym does and one of the most commonly accepted standards for strength. It’s also frequently derided by people who claim that squatting and dead lifting are more important, or that it is slightly non functional. A big bench, however, is a great way to develop upperbody strength and build up your chest. If your bench isn’t as impressive as your other lifts, it’s time to take action.
- Setup up: Keep your back flat on the bench throughout the move,’ says personal trainer Sean cPhillips from Supreme Training (supremetraining.co.uk). ‘Make sure your hands aren't too far apart your forearms should be vertical during the push. Squeeze your lats to create a stable platform.
- Foot Position: Keep your feet planted on the floor, says McPhillips. ‘Don’t lift your legs, because this decreases stability and power output.’ Experiment with your foot position to see what works some big bencher sbtuck them underneath their hips,bothers spread them wide.
- Grip: Squeeze the bar as hard as you can before you take it out of the rack. This prompts an effect known as ‘irradiation’, which activates the surrounding muscles and lets you move more weight.
- Pause: Lower the weight under control,’ says McPhillips. ‘Don’t bounce it as well as making your reps pointless, it can damage your sternum.’ In the first rep of each set, pause for a second with the bar on your chest before the push.
- Push: Instead of focusing on the bar, focus on a spot on the ceiling – this will help to ensure you’re pushing in a straight line and using the same range of motion each time