The purpose of the bench press is to strengthen the pecs, shoulders, AND the triceps.
In order to do so there are 2 points that must remain constant. The starting point and the point in which the bar touches the body
These 2 points must be clearly identified and the barbell should start, touch, and end at the same exact spot every single rep of every single set!
- ✅Point 1 on the bench press, which is the starting point of the barbell (the top), is directly over the upper back (or shoulder joint)
- ✅Unlike point 1, the exact spot of point 2 is going to vary based on a couple of factors like hand width and arm length, and the height of your torso
As a general guideline, your hands should be in a position that places your radius and ulna, or forearms, perpendicular to the barbell when it is resting on your chest
So when moving from point 1 to point 2 the bar will NOT go in a straight line but SHOULD travel rather diagonal-ish as pictured in the pics above!
Even though the bench press is primarely a chest dominant movement, you actually have to use your whole body in the right way to be able to give your maximal strength output.
✅✅✅You literally have to “nail yourself to the bench”: let me explain.
When I say “nailing” I mean actually creating a supportive muscle foundation from where you can create support & energy output from.
For the upper body, you’ll need to try and “bend the bar” or try to “tear it apart”. Don’t worry you won’t won’t be able to do so, but just the fact that you’re trying to, will allow your scapulas to be pulled back and down together, while creating an upper back arch fully pushing your chest out. This will also create upper back & trap tension, while also engaing your lats.
Same thing goes for your lower body: you want to open up your hips & squeeze your glutes to really get all the benefits from the set up.
❌❌❌On the flip side, not doing what’s mentioned above simply won’t generate as much force, and will result in giving you a what I call: an “Inactive set up” which will be weaker unstable, and can actually lead to injury since your shoulders will stay in a more vulnerable position.
Try this out and tell me what you think about it. Also, write down your bench PR. I want you to implement these cues and see whether it’ll increase or not!