Trainer Tip of the Week – Barbell Bench Press
The barbell bench press is one of the best exercises to increase upper body strength. The main focus is the chest, but you’ll also activate your triceps, anterior deltoids, and if done correctly, your back and glutes will be involved as well by staying tight throughout the movement. One common error that I️ see is, as the bar lowers towards the chest, it comes way too high and close to the neck. If you have shoulder pain during or after doing the bench press, this may be the culprit, because bringing the bar too high as it descends and ascends puts too much pressure on the shoulders. This is also inhibiting your overall strength and muscle growth in your chest as well. As the bar descends, think about keeping your shoulders down, and keep your shoulder blades and butt tight. When the bar descends, it should also come down to where it’s no higher than the center of your chest (I️ actually prefer nipple line/bottom of the chest). As the bar comes up, exhale and think about flexing your chest. When the bar is more over the chest and not the shoulders, it reduces the risk of shoulder injuries, and can increase your bench press strength and overall muscle growth.
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