The most revered strength training exercise and one of the big “3″, the bench press is rarely performed correctly. It seems in every gym across America, every Monday is national bench day. But unfortunately, we should label every Monday national “wreck your shoulders” day. The Proper Way to Bench Press. There are very important key points to remember when performing the bench press to ensure healthy shoulders and longevity. In fact, these key points apply to the majority of all horizontal pressing movements. Slow down - Control the tempo, When performing your bench press, in the lowering process (negative) slow this down to a 2-4 count and hold for 1 second when down.
This tempo will ensure your controlling the weight against gravity, ensuring you are contracting your muscl*s through out the entire rep, instead of only contracting them on the positive and relaxing on the negative.
Don’t breathe. This applies when training in the 3 and under rep range. Upon receiving a lift-off from your spotter, a large breath of air should be taken and held until the final repetition of the set is near completion. However, you may breathe out on the way up during the last rep. Rationale behind holding your breath is to ensure complete tightness in the body. Squeeze the Bar. Aside from the tip of your tongue, bottom of your feet and your sex organs, your hands have more nerve endings than anywhere else on your body. And Use your Legs. Although I personally Bench Press on the balls of my feet (and this is a perfectly legal way to bench press in MOST organizations), I feel this is an advanced technique and most beginners/intermediate lifters will initially have more success with keeping their feet flat on the ground.
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