3 Bench Press Principles You Should Know

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Anyone who doesn’t enjoy the rush of a max effort bench press is either lying or gets shoulder pain… or both!

Shoulder, pectoral and bicep injuries are commonly associated with the bench press and in some cases, lifters will notice their front delts growing faster than their pecs accompanied by some nagging elbow pain.

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may be entitled to some educational compensation, instead of the mechanical compensations you’re doing to land yourself in the doctors with aching shoulders and broken dreams! Best Fitness, the best gym in Lowell, is here to help!

The Barbell Bench Press is an explosive compound movement intended for strength and power. The 3 principles to a bulletproof bench are position, tension and force production.

The body must be in a position where tension can be harnessed in every muscle during both the eccentric (the way down) and the concentric (the press) portions of the lift. Feet, hips and shoulders are to be anchored down so the lifter can maintain a tight arch in the back. Arching is advantageous because it recruits the larger muscles of the lats (back) to control the bar. That is why lifters often experience a stronger decline press relative to the flat! Arching is also safe because the spine is not directly loaded.

The second principle is tension; drive the feet down and the knees outward, squeezing the glutes. Tightly grip the bar and “bend it” by rotating the shoulders outward – like turning on sink faucets that are stuck! Maintain the tension and slowly ‘row the bar’ to the bottom of the chest with elbows slightly tucked and behind the fists. Now DRIVE!

With all the build up tension, blast that bar off the chest, bending the bar and pressing the 3 anchor points (feet, hips and shoulders) into the bench! Transferring tension into a fast, explosive push will produce power needed for that new PR.

The 3 principles are universal and will work, however, each lifter is built differently, so every bench press position is unique to the lifter. The best results come from consulting with an experienced benching coach at our Lowell gym, where you can discover your perfect set-up and individual tension cues.

From there it’s simple… Push it. Push it REAL GOOD.


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