The Bench Press

Your Time Has Come

No more sitting on the sidelines, its your time to shine. You've limbered up, and now you're ready to conquer a few sets of the exercise of champions, the bench press.

Don't rush! There are still a few things you have to learn.

Execution

To get the most power out of your bench press and to avoid injury also, there are a few steps you should follow.

First, select a weight that you're comfortably challenged by. You should be benching a weight that you can lift no more than 12 times consecutively, and no less than six. This will insure a good balance between muscle growth and strength increase from the exercise.

Second, master your form. Wrap your fingers around the bar one way and your thumb the other. Balance the barbell in the palm of your hand, keeping your forearms in line with your wrist. Your hands should be placed apart at about shoulder width. Make sure your chest and upper back are straight and touching the bench. Draw your shoulders blade together, drive your feet into the ground and arch your lower back. This will insure that you utilize your strongest muscles for the bench press.

Finally, lift correctly. Steadily lower the barbell to your chest, then use an explosive moment to push the bar upward. Your elbows should be comfortably tucked into your side for more power.Breathe out as you propel the bar upwards, and inhale as you bring it down. Complete as many repetitions of the exercise as you can, then put the barbell back on the rack. Complete three to five sets of the exercise, depending on your ability level.