Though the bench press is probably the most popular exercise in the gym, it is also the most horribly performed. Most weight lifters use horrible form and ultimately hurt their strength, muscle-building, and joint safety. Here are the 2 most important bench press tips for you to have success with this movement.
1. Arch Your Lower Back
One of the single most important bench press tips that you can apply immediately is to arch your lower back as you lay on the bench. Arching your lower back does two things that contribute to greater muscularity and strength-building.
The first benefit of arching is that is reduces your range of motion. When you arch your lower back, your abs and lower chest (the area to which you lower the bar) are automatically raised.
The second benefit is that it gives your whole body greater stability on the bench. If you’ve ever taken a good look at architecture, you know that the arch is one of the most stable structures in existence. This will keep the whole movement solid and controlled, allowing you to handle more weight.
2. Keep Your Shoulders Pinched Together
In addition to arching your lower back, you should attempt to “arch” your upper back by pinching your shoulder blades as tightly together as possible. This is one of the bench press tips that will really let your pressing power take off.
First of all, pinching your shoulders together helps improve upon the stability your lower back arch establishes. You can think of your upper back as your “base for the bench press” – you must make it as tight and stable as possible.
Second, pinching your shoulders does even more to reduce your range of motion. To understand this, hold your arms out in front of you, and pinch your shoulders back. Your hands will automatically travel towards your chest. This translates to a much lower range of motion for the press.