The ‘Big 2’ upper body strength exercises- Bench press

Our Wheyhey PT James Potter this week is filling you all in on our to perform our upper body exercises correctly so that we begin to see the real benefits. This week we’ll we’ve been practising the Flat bench press

Flat Bench press (with pause)

Bench press is the standard move to test upper-body strength in a horizontal pushing motion. Heavy bench press will strengthen the chest, shoulders and triceps. It is however one of the most incorrectly performed exercises in the gym.
Here’s how to perform a bench press for maximal strength development:

1. First things first SET YOUR FEET. It is crucial that when the load gets heavy you can drive with your feet to stabilise your body and help with maximal force production. Feet should be set in a shoulder width stance evenly each side of the bench. They should remain flat on the floor throughout the lift.

2. TAKE YOUR GRIP. Grip width varies from person to person but in general your wrists shoulder align with your elbows making a vertical forearm angle.

3. Squeeze the bar hard as if trying to bend it in half. Unrack the bar and LOWER THE BAR TO PAUSE FOR A SECOND ON YOUR CHEST

4. Focusing on keeping your chest up throughout, DRIVE YOUR FEET INTO THE GROUND AND YOUR UPPER BACK INTO THE BENCH as you press the weight back up.

Key Point: For strength training you should pause the bar on your chest for a second between each rep to prevent bouncing it and using momentum to make the lift easier.


Close grip: to improve the lock out of regular bench plus target triceps more. Keep the elbows tucked into the body as you press. To set your close grip position just move one hand width in from your normal grip.

Wide grip: to improve the bottom phase of the lift and to target chest and delts more. To find your wide grip just move one hand width out from your normal grip.

Let us know how you get on! @wheyheyofficial


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