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May 27, 2013
How to Bench Press
Sparta’s program is unlike many in that the Bench Press does not make the cut as one of our “Big Three” lifts. We always opt for exercises that will improve your movement signatureTM. The ability to put force into the ground (GRF), as well as upper body movements that have the biggest impact on postural strength like push ups and pull ups. These are the movements that make the real difference in your sport. However there are some athletes that need to be able to bench as a strength metric in their sport, or for a specific test like the NFL combine. In these cases, its worth benching the right way. When done correctly, the bench press can actually become a total body lift. It can also develop some great upper body size and strength if you are careful about limiting the damage to your shoulders and elbows.

Coaching Keys

  • Create a stable foundation – the arch between the shoulders and feet is the “platform” for your press
  • Maintain vertical alignment at the wrist and forearm
  • Torque the hands and tuck the elbows to your sides
  • Create a slight arc in your bar path as you touch the upper abs
Before you program bench press first thing every Monday, ask yourself the big questions of
  • “What does the bench accomplish?”
  • “Why does it deserve a place in my program?”
Not all athletes need to bench, but for those who do, building a foundation of good technique will set you up for maximal strength gains and minimal risk for injury.
May 27, 2013
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2 thoughts on “How to Bench Press”

  1. Would I be correct in saying that you guys wouldn’t perform dips because of poor body positions while performing the movement? I was thinking about incorporating muscle ups in my program as I’ve gotten pretty good with pullups…any thoughts?


    1. Just like any movement, there is a right way and a wrong way to do dips. We do not program dips or muscle ups for our athletes right now because we prioritize the importance of quality push ups and pull ups. Once you get good at pull ups, you can always add weight by using a vest or holding a dumb bell between your legs.

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