Posts Tagged ‘bench press’

The Top 5 Best Triceps Exercises

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Arnold Triceps ExtensionsTwo common questions you will hear from male weightlifters are:

  1. How can I get bigger arms?
  2. How can I bench press more weight?

Normally I would scoff at such questions, except that the answer is a lesson that most young weightlifters need to learn.

Because your triceps comprise two-thirds of your arm, the answer to the first question is: train your triceps.

Because your triceps are often the weakest link in the chain of muscles that facilitates bench press, the answer to the second question is: train your triceps.

This brings me to the point of this whole post, which is how best to train your triceps.


How to Bench Press

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

How to Bench Press

Update: I found a sweet How to Bench Press video by elite powerlifter Dave Tate today. The video appears about halfway through this post. If you want to bench press for max strength and “think” you have perfect form, you NEED to watch this video. Therefore I am republishing this article today for every Swole Bench Presser’s benefit.

Your Questions
Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answering Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Kyle wrote:

“Hey Steve, OK me and a friend got into an argument about how to bench. I said you should touch your chest and he said you shouldn’t because it can injure your shoulder you should stop like 1 inch away from your chest? What is the right way to bench?”


So, you want to know how to bench press properly?

How to Bench Press
How to Bench Press

The bench press is the most popular exercise in the gym among men. It is the strongest upper body exercise for most people, and has been a social gauge (and wrongly so, in my opinion) of male strength and fitness for more than a century. Fortunately, bench presses are the #1 best exercise for building upper body strength and size, and so should be included in nearly all strength training routines.

On the down side, benching is responsible for many weight lifting injuries, especially in the shoulder area. Hopefully this post will educate you as to how you should be bench pressing to avoid injury.

How to Bench Press

A concept of a bench press is simple:

Start by laying down on a bench. Place your hands on the barbell with your palms facing away from you (this is a pronated grip). Unrack the barbell and hold it straight up over your upper chest. Bend at the elbows to lower the barbell until it touches your mid chest. Press it back up over your upper chest. That’s a rep.

In reality, using proper form on the bench press can be difficult to master, as you will see when you read this post in its entirety.

Now, to answer your questions…


How to Bench Press More Weight Instantly?

Friday, March 26th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

I haven’t verified this tip yet, but Charles Staley once said that you can lift more weight if you look at your dominant hand when benching. Although you are not supposed to turn your head at all.

Really, I have no idea if this works, but if you give it a try please let us know what happens. It doesn’t sound like anything I would ever tell anyone to do, but maybe it has a place in max effort training?

I remain skeptical.

How to Choose a Weight Bench

Thursday, February 25th, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips
How to Choose a Weight Bench
Choosing a Weight Bench

There is a ton of weightlifting equipment out there and the bench is one of the most important pieces.

As with all purchases, you should do your due diligence. Of course if you are ordering a weight bench or browsing the stores, you will want to do your initial research into product quality, customer reviews, and the amount of time the weight bench manufacturer has been in business.

After that, you should examine and try out each bench before you make your decision. Listed below are some common criteria for selecting a bench that will make you happy and keep you safe.


How to Bench Press Safely Without a Spotter

Monday, August 11th, 2008
Heavy Bench Press
Heavy Bench Press

A major concern for all of us big-shot men is how we can bench press when we are training alone. Chest day has always been an important day in the weekly training regimen.

This is a day when we can walk in the gym with our chests puffed out. This is a day when we can train those all-important show muscles… the pecs. This is a day when we can perform the manliest of exercises… the bench press!

Let us examine some alternatives to bench pressing flat with a spotter.


Increase Your Max Bench Press By Stretching Your Calves

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

I am in the midst of finishing up a large web development project for a client, so I am taking a couple days off from posting. My next useful Project Swole post might come Thursday but will probably come in on Friday or over the weekend.

A Quick Tip for Bench Pressing

If you are trying to hit a bench press PR (for reps or for weight), try a new approach to preparing for the set. Horizontally stretch your back for 20 seconds. Then stretch your biceps, hamstrings, and calves for at least 15 seconds each before the set. Avoid stretching your chest, shoulders, or triceps. I know it’s weird, but it really works.

Also, if you have a lifting partner or someone else is in the gym, ask for a spot. There’s no need to exhaust yourself on the lift off.