You will learn to master bench presses perfectly thanks to this advice. Improve your workout in a few practices and quickly increase your strength!


3 points of contact: the head, shoulders and buttocks

The head, shoulders and buttocks must remain in contact with the bench. They form a "block". Without this stability, you won't have the strength. Often, people lift their buttocks off the bench during the exercise, to reduce amplitude when lowering and avoid supporting too much weight. When pushing with the leg, remember to keep the buttocks on the bench. Often, because they lack flexibility in the pectoralis minor, people lift their head when lowering the bar. You will need to stretch between each training session to prevent your head moving forwards when practicing bench presses.


Arched back

Often, people lie down flat on their back on the bench, convinced that arching their back is dangerous. However, hyperextending the back reduces the run of the bar (the distance that the weight has to travel). The shorter the distance, the heavier the weight you can lift. The arch first depends on the flexibility of your iliopsoas and rectus femoris muscles. To increase flexibility, you can develop the flexibility of these muscles by placing a round cushion under your lower back when training. When you arch your back, push your shoulders into the bench and tense them.


Low shoulders

When you remove the bar from the bar rack, remember to pull back your shoulders. Keep your shoulders low and forwards during the movement. This will place your pectorals forwards, with your chest out. This reduces the amplitude of the negative stage (lowering) and enables you to lift heavier weights.


Feet on the ground

Place your feet on the ground and not on the bench as is often shown. Powerful bench presses don't only depend on your pectorals and arms. Push your heels into the ground to have a strong point of contact and lift the bar like this. Your feet must be as close to your buttocks as possible: the closer they are, the more you will arch and the stronger you can push. If you wish to reach your target, you must learn to use your thighs and hamstrings. "Benchers" often get cramp in those muscles!


Curved trajectory

Lower the bar in a semi-circular, J-shaped trajectory, from the high (start) position to your nipples, 5 centimetres away. Invert the semi-circle when lifting. A straight trajectory, from bottom to top can reduce distance, but the semi-circle increases muscle power and the amount of weight you can lift.

During the exercise, remember to keep your elbows in, close to your body. This way you reduce the load on your shoulders and use your back muscles, increasing stability and strength.