Performing the bench press correctly is essential for building a great chest.
Whether you’re using dumbbells or a barbell your form will dictate your results.
Here’s 10 tips for the perfect bench press:
(1) Lie with your back flat against the bench. Your back should remain in contact with the bench throughout the movement.
(2) Keep your feet planted on the floor (NOT up on the bench)
(3) Make sure your arms are wider-than-shoulder width apart. A closer grip places more stress on the triceps.
(4) Please ensure that your thumbs are around the bar, not on the same side as your fingers! You can do yourself some real damage with a grip like that (see the second video below)
(5) Lower the weight slowly with a controlled, smooth movement. It should take about 2 seconds to lower. Slower movement on the negative part of the rep recruits more muscle fibers.
(6) Do not bounce the weight on your chest. Lower until the bar just barely makes contact with the chest.
(7) Feel the stretch! A good way of making sure you have the correct starting position is if you feel a real stretch across the pecs at the bottom of the movement.
(8) Now push up with force. It should take about 1 second to raise the bar
(9) Push all the way up using a full range of motion. However, stop just shy of locking out the elbows.
(10) Repeat for 8-12 reps
Here’s a good video tutorial with tips for an effective bench press.
Watch what happens when you use the wrong grip!