Why: The bench press is a powerlifting movement to increase upper body brute transverse (horizontal) pressing strength. It’s an accessible movement because it’s easy to learn (not highly complex) and requires minimal and affordable equipment. In the bench press, you primarily build the musculature in your chest, but you also increase strength in your shoulders and triceps. And as you build up your bench press your overhead press (strict press, push press, and jerk) numbers go up.
Set-Up: Start with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. Begin the movement with your arms extended and the barbell over your chest. Shoulders are in contact with the bench.
Execution: Brace your core and tighten your glutes. Bring the bar down to your chest with control. The bar touches the bottom of your chest. Your elbows reach toward your hips as you lower the bar. Keep your forearms vertical. To complete the movement, press to full arm extension.
Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:
– You start and finish with full arm extension
– You touch the barbell to your chest
Pro-Tip: Your feet are the foundation of the bench press. Push your whole foot flat on the floor during the movement to create tension in the lower body. The more tension you can create, the more effective your bench press will be.