The bench press is one of the most popular exercises people do in the gym. Benefits are mostly felt in the shoulders and chest muscles. However, many people make mistakes while executing this exercise that weakens their performance. To avoid these bench press mistakes, follow these tips to improve your technique.
The bench press is an exercise that works the chest and shoulders while targeting the pectorals, anterior deltoid, and triceps muscles. It’s a compound lift that combines pushing, pulling, and stabilizing muscles to move at either end of a long lever. You can perform the bench press with the hands-on barbell or on dumbbells.
Benefits of Using Bench Press Machines
There are many benefits to using bench press machines but also some drawbacks. The most significant advantage is that they allow you to work out much more simpler and with less equipment than free weights.
If you misuse bench presses by putting too much pressure onto the spine instead of distributing it evenly across the divide, ribcage, and pelvis, you may thwart the purpose of the exercise. It increases risk factors associated with balance issues from falling backward during workouts.
Most people think you should start your bench press with a barbell at chin level and lower yourself down to the chest, but this is one of the worst mistakes. You will do better by starting from above shoulder height and lowering it, so your shoulders are higher than the hip’s level when you get there. This helps keep tension on more muscle groups during each rep, which increases force production in other areas, such as triceps brachii muscles, instead of deltoids.
To ensure your bench press form is perfect, you should feel a good stretch without pain in the pec muscles. This means that if there’s no numbness or pins-and-needles feeling from squeezing on your chest muscle, you’re not activating it correctly and can’t expect great results either. If this happens for most reps (at least two out of three), try decreasing how much weight you use by 10% until something changes with regards to activation – don’t go too light!
A beginner bench press should start with 10 pounds and increase by 5 pounds weekly to continue lifting weights. If you are unsure how much weight to lift, start with 2-3 sets or ten reps per set each day until you can reach 20 repetitions. Then increase the next session. Once in progress, change up the exercises. Try some different ones, like a power clean instead of using dumbbells, if possible. Afterward, switch back once momentum has been established.
When performing this without a spotter, you can start by leaning over and placing one foot flat onto the ground behind you. You can also use an assisted lift by standing in front of a vertical pole placed against the wall (or anchored to it). It would help if you were careful when starting out and at all points throughout lifting.
We recommend one way for beginners to take advantage of having a spotter before doing heavy sets. Someone who’s already mastered their form or someone nearby, come up quickly and help if needed! When performing without a spotter, you can start by leaning over and placing one foot flat onto the ground behind you. It could also be by using an assisted lift with a vertical pole placed against the wall (or anchored to it).
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