Elite Training Tip: Bench Press
Many lifts like the bench press are ones we either started on our own, or were led by someone who may not have had the highest level of expertise. (They probably made due with what they had to learn with). Nonetheless it can lead to some injuries or lack of performance.
Some of the most common injuries when benching are those that affect the shoulder. When you look at some of the points of performance here you will see why that is.
The biggest takeaway id give you is this:
You can't perform a lift if you have PAIN. Stop thinking that you need to "fight through it". There is a difference between mental toughness and stability issues or movement flaws.Finding out where you stand will help tremendously.
Let’s talk about executing the lift.
Here are some Points of Performance on execution of the lift:
Pinch your shoulder blades together.
Drive straight up from the nipples, or just below the chest plate.
- Ensure the middle portion of your back is slightly arched, allowing your shoulder blades to drive into the bench while keeping your glutes on the pad.
- The top range of motion is just shy of locked arms so as to keep tension on the fibers.
- The bottom range of motion is about two or three inches above the chest. Lowering the bar further recruits shoulder muscles and takes tension o the pectoral muscles, thereby reducing hypertrophy by giving the pectoral muscles a rest.
If you are standing over a person performing this exercise, where a spotter would stand, make sure their arm is just about a 90-degree angle. This will ensure maximal tension is placed onto the pectoral muscles. To accomplish this, the width of your grip should be the width your hands would naturally go if you put them in the air when you are lying down.
Elbows should be about one to two inches lower than the shoulders while performing repetitions. This ensures tension remains on the pectoral muscles throughout.