How to Bench Press

May 27, 2013

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.

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