Bench presses

Bench presses

Bench presses . Initial position. Lie face up on a horizontal bench, with buttocks on the bench and feet flat on the ground:

– Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip wider than shoulder width.

– Inhale and lower the bar to the chest with a controlled movement.

– Extend the arms and exhale at the end of the effort.

This exercise engages the complete pectoralis major muscle, pectoralis minor, anterior deltoid, serratus anterior, and coracobrachialis.

The movement

The movement


1. This movement may be performed while arching the back power-lifter style. This position brings the more powerful lower part of the pectoral muscle into play, allowing you to lift heavier weights.

2. Executing the extension with the elbows next to the body concentrates the work onto the anterior deltoid.

3. Varying the width of the hands isolates different parts of the muscle:

– Hands closer together isolates the central part of the pectorals.

– Hands wider apart isolates the lateral part of the pectorals.

4. Varying the angle of the barbell isolates different parts of the muscle:

– Lowering the bar to the chondrocostal border of the rib cage isolates the lower part of the pectorals.

– Lowering the barbell onto the middle part of the pectorals isolates the midline fibers.

– Lowering the bar onto the sternal notch isolates the clavicular head of the muscle.

5. If you have back problems or want to isolate the pectorals, perform the extension with the legs raised.

6. Perform the extension at a frame that guides the bar.



Classic position

Arched-back variation

Executing the bench press with an arched back, power-lifter style, limits the range of the movement and allows you to lift significantly heavier weights because it uses mainly the lower part of the pectorals, which are the strongest. In competition, the feet and the head should not move, and the buttocks should remain in contact with the bench. People with back problems should not perform this variation.

Raised-leg variation

Performing the movement with raised legs helps prevent excessive arching, which can cause low back pain.

This variation diminishes the effort of the lower pectorals by working the middle and superior fibers more.

Positioning for a power bench press

Positioning for a power bench press

1. Hands gripping the bar.

2. Chin pulled in and head in contact with the bench.

3. Back arched to limit the lowering of the barbell and rib cage positioned to mobilize the lower part of the pectorals, which are by far the most powerful.

4. Chest raised to limit the lowering of the bar.

5. Buttocks in contact with the bench.

6. Feet fixed and heels on the ground to ensure stabilization during the exercise.



1. For maximum safety, lock onto the bar with a grip in which the thumb and fingers oppose each other.

2. If the grip on the bar is not locked on in opposition, the bar could slip out of your hands and fall on the jaw or, worse, the neck and cause a serious injury.

Bench Presses – Workout Video

Bench presses. Application of the exercise.

Who shall do it: Everybody from beginners to experts.

When: In the mid-point or in the end of the training session dedicated chest.

Before bench presses you should perform incline dumbbell presses or parallel bar dips.

After bench presses you should perform dumbbell flys or pec deck flys.

How many:

– Shredded – 4 sets, 15-20 repetitions.

– Strength – 5-6 sets, 3-8 repetitions.

– Mass Gain – 5 sets, 6-10 repetitions.

Middle Chest Exercises

Middle Chest Exercises

Chest Exercises & Chest Workouts

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