What is: Bench Press

bench press

The bench press is a chest exercise that is typically done on a rack with a barbell. Triceps and shoulders are secondary muscles that are also worked. Similar chest exercises can be done using bands or dumbbells. Figuring out the 1 repetition max of this exercise is a popular way to determine overall upper body strength. The bench press can be used for all types of goals including hypertrophy, endurance, or power.

To perform the bench press load the bar with plates for your desired weight. When you lay down under the bar make sure that your eyes are directly under the bar before picking it up. Next make sure your hands are placed evenly on the bar. There are rings on most bars that you can use to place your hands. A wider grip will isolate the chest muscles more. A narrower grip will get more triceps and shoulders involved.

When you are pressing the bar up, squeeze your chest muscles when your arms are fully extended. Be careful to not lock out your elbows, especially when using heavy weight. When you release the bar back down be under control. Don’t bounce the bar off of your chest.

Adam Pegg About Adam Pegg

Adam is an athlete with a serious passion for fitness and health. He played basketball at University of Delaware and Stetson. His degree is in health science and he's a certified personal trainer who loves helping people reach their goals.