Bench press technique tips
Fine-tune your benching and watch your pressing improve in minutes
Benching seems simple - just grab the bar and start pressing, aiming not to crush your own rib-cage. But in reality, a few simple tweaks can make all the difference between a pigeon chest and blown rotator cuffs and an impressive bench. Here's some technique tips for correct form along with a few variations for you to try
'Bodybuilders aiming to recruit the pectoralis major often flare the elbows,' says trainer Will Purdue (willpurdue.co.uk), 'But that can strain the rotator cuffs. For athleticism and power, keeping your elbows bent at a 45˚ angle recruits more of the lats and triceps.'
Grip it good
'A wide grip targets the pecs,' says trainer Robert Kane, (davidlloyd.co.uk), 'A closer grip focuses on the triceps. For heavy weights, keep your hands in line with your elbows to recruit optimum power from both.
Get in line
The bar should be in line with your nipples for optimal pressing. And yes, it should touch your chest on every rep. No bouncing.
Keep them straight. Letting them bend back might feel more natural, but it takes the bar out of line with your forearms, making it hard to lift big weights.
Some people keep them up in an effort to 'work the core', but it just ruins your balance, increases your risk of injury, and forces you to lift less. Keep your feet on the floor.