Barbell Bench Press

Dani de la Cruz

Dani de la Cruz

Co-Founder & Trainer

Set up the bench: Position the bench flat on the ground or at a slight incline (around 30 to 45 degrees) if you prefer an incline bench press.

  1. Adjust the barbell: Choose an appropriate weight for your fitness level and place it on the barbell. Ensure that the weight plates are secured with collars on both ends.

  2. Lie down on the bench: Sit at the edge of the bench and carefully lie back, keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground for stability. Your head, shoulders, and buttocks should all be in contact with the bench.

  3. Grip the barbell: Position yourself under the barbell so that it is directly above your chest. Reach up and grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your palms should be facing away from you.

  4. Unrack the barbell: Push through your hands and lift the barbell off the rack, straightening your arms and holding the weight directly above your chest. Keep your wrists aligned with your forearms and maintain a tight grip on the barbell.

  5. Lower the barbell: Inhale and slowly lower the barbell down towards your chest, allowing your elbows to flare out to the sides at a comfortable angle. Keep your elbows tucked in if that feels more comfortable for you.

  6. Press the barbell: Once the barbell reaches just above your chest, exhale and push the barbell back up by extending your arms. Maintain control and a steady, fluid motion throughout the movement.

  7. Lockout and repeat: Continue pressing the barbell upward until your arms are fully extended, but avoid locking out your elbows. Pause momentarily at the top, then begin the descent by lowering the barbell back down to your chest.

  8. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

Repetitions and sets:

  • Aim to perform 8 to 12 repetitions per set to target muscular strength and endurance.

  • Start with 1 or 2 sets and gradually increase the number of sets as your strength improves.
  • Rest for 1 to 2 minutes between sets.

Important tips and considerations:

  • Maintain proper form throughout the exercise. Keep your head, shoulders, and buttocks in contact with the bench at all times.

  • Engage your core and keep your lower back flat against the bench to avoid excessive arching.

  • Ensure that your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are aligned and that your wrists are not bent excessively.

  • Control the movement and avoid bouncing the barbell off your chest.

  • Breathe naturally throughout the exercise, inhaling as you lower the barbell and exhaling as you press it upward.

  • If you're a beginner or unsure about your form, it's recommended to work with a qualified fitness professional to ensure proper technique and safety.

  • Start with lighter weights to master the movement and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable and confident.

  • If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and consult a fitness professional or healthcare provider for guidance.

Remember to warm up your body before attempting the Barbell Bench Press exercise. Incorporate dynamic stretches and light cardio to prepare your muscles and joints for the workout.

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