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Answered 2015-07-15 18:21:34

The Bench Press

  • Grab the bar with a comfortable grip, not too wide or narrow. Make sure you wrap your thumbs around the bar. An open-palmed grip is dangerous. Your elbows should be directly below your wrists.
  • Get decent foot placement. Leg drive is an underused aspect of bench pressing. Your feet will need to push off - or drive as you begin the pressing motion.
  • Pull yourself slightly up towards the bar, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and then lower your upper back and traps back down to the bench. It should feel like you are resting your upper body weight upon your traps/upper back.
  • Keep your shoulder blades tight, and slowly lower the bar. Visualize yourself bending the ends of the bar together along the horizontal plane. This technique will train you to keep your elbows in proper alignment. Also, by holding the bar with this pressure, you are tightening your grip on the bar, as well as putting yourself in the position to lower the barbell to a location below your pecs.
  • With the bar on the chest, it's time to initiate the lift. Push off with your legs and explode the bar upwards along a natural, comfortable plane. Make sure that your shoulder blades are still tight and compressed. Lifting with your shoulder blades apart creates a longer travel, and restricts the weight you can press. It's also a good idea to get in the habit of visualizing the back's involvement with the bench press. Back development, and use, is a key ingredient in boosting your bench press totals.
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