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Bench press: lift more weight

We've got five tips to help you perfect your bench press. With just a few tweaks, you can improve your training and get stronger stat!

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Do you wish you could get stronger pecs? If so, you're probably no stranger to that staple among chest exercises: the bench press.
But do you know if you're doing it the right way?
Read our article and see our five tips on how to do the bench press with stellar form and take your performance up a notch!

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Do the bench press right/
tip 1: three foundation points

HEAD, SHOULDERS, BUM

Your head, shoulders and bum should always stay in contact with the bench. This creates a stable base. Without stability, you'll have no strength.

The bum will often come off the bench as you raise up to reduce the range of motion when you come back down and to compensate for the weight. When pushing through your legs, remember to keep your glute muscles in contact with the bench.

If you lack flexibility in the pec minor, your head will also tend to lift up as you lower the bar down. If this happens, you should stretch between each workout to prevent your head being pulled forward when bench pressing.

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Do the bench press right/
tip 2: arch your back

Many people lie down on their weights bench with a flat back, which can be dangerous.

Arching the back reduces the distance the bar (and weight) travels. The shorter this distance, the more weight you can lift. The degree of arch mainly depends on your flexibility in the psoas and quad muscles.

To become more flexible, you can stretch these two muscles by placing a cushion under your lower back during your training sessions. As you arch your back, squeeze your shoulders and keep them in contact with the bench.

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Do the bench press right/
tip 3: low shoulders

When you take the bar off the rack, remember to immediately pull your shoulders back.

Keep your shoulders low and squeeze them together throughout the exercise. This will keep your pecs forward and your thoracic cage open.~This automatically reduces the negative (lowering) phase so you can lift more weight.

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Do the bench press right/ 
tip 4: feet on the floor

Place your feet on the floor - and not the bench as is often recommended.

A strong bench press depends on more than just your pecs and arms. Dig your heels firmly into the floor to support you as you raise the bar. 

Your feet should be as close to your bum as possible: the closer they are, the more you'll be able to arch your back and the more strength you'll have as you push up.

If you want to reach your goal, you'll also need to learn to use your thighs, and especially your hamstrings. Getting cramps in these muscles is actually quite common among those who bench press regularly!

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Do the bench press right/ 
tip 5: follow a j curve

Lower the bar in a "J" shape: from the raised position lower down to about 5 cm above your nipples. Inverse the curve as you lift back up.

Moving the bar in a straight line may reduce the distance it travels, but the curve increases the power in the muscle and the amount of weight you can lift.

During the movement, remember to keep your elbows tucked in, near your body. This reduces the weight on your shoulders and engages the dorsals to increase your stability and strength.

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How to increase your bench press | Make the right move

Work on your bench press at home

Want to work on your bench press at home? You'll need a few things: a weights bench, a bar and/or dumbbells and a weight bar rack. 
Get all the equipment you need on our website.

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How to increase your bench press | Make the right move

Want a coach for your sessions?

Check out our free coaching advice and programmes on the DECATHLON COACH app.

The app has weight training programmes just for you.

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What are your best tips for perfecting your bench press and lifting more weight? Share them in the comments!

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