Bench Press With Barbell

Target Muscles: Chest

Equipment: Barbell and Bench

Instructions: Lie face up on bench. Place feet flat on floor to maintain lower back in a flat or neutral position (slight arch). Grip bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Keep arms vertical and bar directly over chest with wrists straight. Keep shoulder blades squeezed together (retracted) and maintain position throughout entire exercise. Throughout motion, shoulders form 90 degree angle to body. In a controlled motion, start lowering bar until upper arms are approximately parallel to floor. Hands must remain over elbows. While maintaining the controlled motion, push bar up to starting position without locking out elbows. Do not allow muscles to relax before next repetition.

 Video:   Male     Female

illustration of flat bench press with a barbell Illustration of man doing flat bench press with barbell

Tips do execute a proper bench press and get the best results:

Lifting the bar

Hold the bar above your sternum at the beginning

Make sure your wrists are straight

Push your heels into the floor

Squeeze your shoulder blades down and together and hold them as tight as you can during each set. This creates a stronger foundation for you to press from, which allows you to generate greater force.

Lowering the weight

Make sure the bar is directly above your elbows at all times.

Lower the bar to your sternum.

Drive your head, upper back, and shoulders into the bench.

Don’t allow your butt or hips to raise up off the bench.

Pull your elbows toward your sides.

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