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Proper Bench Press Form

imagesThe bench press is one of the most common and popular forms of lifting weights and yet not nearly enough people take the time to learn the proper techniques for doing this exercise. With just a little bit of knowledge you can not only learn ways to stay safe while you’re benchpressing, but you can also learn techniques that help you get the most out of your bench press routine.

 

Start Light

In order to learn the proper placement for your hands and feet and the proper lift techniques, you need to start with just the bar without placing any weights on it at all. This will help you from getting injured if you slip or drop the bar.

 

Hand Placement

Lie back on the bench and wrap your hands around the empty bar. With someone there to help you spot, lift the bar off the rack and down to your chest. Make sure your forearms, when you push up on the bar are as vertical as possible, this will help you push the weight straight up into the air. If your hands are placed too wide on the bar you’ll feel as though you’re pushing outward as opposed to straight up. If your hand placement is too narrow you’ll feel as though you’re pushing in. This is a good way to gauge if your hands are placed correctly.

 

Feet and Back

Your bench should be in a position of height so that you can rest your feet flat on the floor. Your knees should bend comfortably and your back should rest firmly against the bench. Do not arch your back, make sure you can rest your back and your body weight evenly on the bench so you don’t strain your back when you lift. Rotate the bar in your hands so that your palms are on the bottom of the bar, facing upward. This motion will drive your shoulders into the bench and put you in a strong lift position.

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