How to Bench Press For A Bigger Chest
The bench press is a compound, multi-join exercise that targets your shoulders, triceps, pectorals, back, and forearms. This workout is one of the most popular exercises in the gym. The reason is obvious; having a big, bulked up chest is something every man dreams of. A big chest is not just a sign of strength, but a great confidence booster. When it comes to bench press, learning the proper movement and how to incorporate the right muscle groups can lead to bigger stronger muscles faster. Here is a step by step guide on how to bench press.
1. The Set Up
Without the right starting position, your lifting efforts will go nowhere. You need to position your body in the best way to maximize strength and minimize chances of injury. Slide under the bar until eyebrows are directly below the bar when it’s on the rack. Pull your shoulder blades down and as back as you can and pin them to the bench. Think of trying to touch your shoulder blades together. This position reduces risks to damage to your shoulders.
Arch your upper and lower body, making sure your butt stays in contact with the bench. Your chest needs to be as high as possible. If your back is totally flat on the bench, from chest to butt, then the setup is incorrect. There should be space between your lower back and the bench; enough for a hand to slide under you.
Keep your feet tucked in such that your knees are at an angle of 90 degrees or less. This creates a strong, firm support for your workout. Be sure your feet are planted firmly on the ground so you can create power from the ground through your body.
2. Grip The Bar
You need to choose a comfortable grip. Every lifter has his own preference grip width. A wider grip shortens the range of motion, while a narrower grip provides and transfers the weight from the pectorals to the triceps. However, it increases the range of motion. To find what’s best for you, experiment different grip positions, but remember going too wide makes your shoulders vulnerable.
3. Unrack The Bar
Once you find a comfortable grip width, hold the bar at the base of your palm and squeeze it. Wrap your thumbs around the bar. Take a deep breath and lift the barbell off the rack. Where you position the bar depends on the grip width and how long your arms are. Despite this, your forearms need to be 90 degrees from the ground. Long arms and narrow grip mean you’ll touch further down on your body, while short arms and a wide grip means you will touch higher on your chest. This can be anywhere between your top ab and the nipple line. As you lower the bar, feel free to tuck your elbows toward your body. This is good for your shoulders, and especially if you have a history of injuries.
4. Press Up
With your glutes tight and feet firmly on the ground, push the bar off your chest until it’s directly above your shoulders and not your chest. As you move upward, think of throwing the bar back. This moves in a reverse J pattern.
Like many people, it’s natural for elbows to flare out as you press the bar. However, try to keep the elbows tucked at least halfway through the press.
Repeat the bench press, making sure you hit the same spot with each rep. Remember to inhale when you’re lowering the bar and exhale when pressing.
1. Choose the right weight
An injury is your early days of training will greatly delay your progress. Many injuries happen when people attempt to lift more weight than they have ever before. If the most weight you have worked with is 100Kg , trying 120Kg can be dangerous as it can tear your pectoral muscle or have the bar violently drop on your chest. If you want to increase your weight, don’t attempt 5Kg more than your current maximum lift. When you complete the lift going up 5Kg, then you can gradually add more. Be sure to try this with a spotter.
2. Have the right equipment
What you wear during your workout matters. For your feet, flat shoes or weight lifting shoes are ideal as they give a strong grip onto the ground and stop your feet from moving.
Sometimes, the bars can be very slippery when you start to sweat. A pair of good workout gloves can help you get a strong grip. A wrist wrap also gives your wrist the support needed under the heavy load.
When starting out, it may be tempting to lift weights every day. However, weight lifting every day does more damage to your body. Since it’s a rigorous exercise, your muscle tears each time you bench press. A rest gives the body time to repair this damage, making you stronger. Therefore, never work out two days in a row. Instead, take at least two days break between workouts.
4. Eat the right diet
Diet and nutrition are extremely important for your development. You cannot experience any significant results if you don’t eat right. Your body needs to get enough calories. To gain any kind of muscle, you need to have a calorie surplus, meaning you eat more than you burn. Your calories need to come from the right foods; carbs, proteins and fats.
Bench press is ideal for all levels of experience; beginners, intermediates, and advanced lifters. It’s the perfect exercise to give you the base strength and muscle that you need for a big chest.