Ways To Improve Your Barbell Bench Press

Ways To Improve Your Barbell Bench Press

People's perceptions of strength are often based on their bench press, for better or worse. A squat, deadlift or row may seem like more accurate power indicators, but you could make a case for any of them. Although this may be the case, this in no way diminishes the value of developing a solid bench press.

When preparing for the heavy lifts, paying attention to the details is essential, but the bench press needs to be addressed. It's also probably why the bench press is associated with more shoulder and elbow injuries.

You don't need to be a doctor or a certified personal trainer to realize that a barbell weighing several hundred pounds and moving at high speed across your head, neck, and chest deserves a few extra minutes of coaching and guidance.

As with many other multi-muscle compound weight training exercises, minor errors in the form can lead to injuries that delay progress and make it impossible to maintain a regular training schedule.

The bench press is a highly nuanced exercise, requiring careful attention to everything from foot placement to timing within a workout. Indeed, this determines how to focus on the primary muscle groups involved in benching, including your pecs, triceps, and deltoids.

Master Your Setup

Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training author Mark Rippetoe recommends that everyone, from complete novices to seasoned gym veterans, spend some time perfecting their form with an unloaded bar. Knowing where to begin and keeping your pride in check could mean distinguishing between a healthy shoulder and a deep bench.

And because there are such wide varieties of chest exercises—the flat bench press, the incline bench press, the decline bench press—each setup will adhere to similar rules but feel slightly different and involve different loads (for instance, you'll be weaker on incline bench than a flat bench). Even a brief period spent under the bar can have a significant impact when weight is added.

Screw Your Feet Into The Floor

The arch in your back can be relieved by resting your feet on a bench, a widespread practice among many. Is there ever a time when you shouldn't put your feet up? Sure. However, "screwing" your feet into the floor and transforming your legs and torso into a rigid, stable base will provide the best anchor and leverage. From the ground up, your shins should almost form a straight line.

A definition, please. Visualize pressing your feet firmly into the ground while tightening your glutes and locking your hips. Even though the bench press is an upper-body exercise, You will alter the sensation of the lift, and the heavier weights will feel more accessible if the entire body is tensed up.

Use A Shoulder-Width Grip

Shoulder injuries are a common problem with many chest exercises, but the bench press in particular. Proper hand spacing is essential for the well-being of the shoulder joint.

According to Rippetoe, the average human hand spans between 22 and 28 inches. (The maximum grip width in powerlifting competitions is 32 inches.) People often choose a grip that is either too narrow, putting unnecessary stress on the deltoids (the front of the shoulder), or too wide, leading to an inefficient bar path and an increased risk of injury.

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