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.
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.
“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?
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…