An exercise where the athlete lays with their back flat on a bench (or other surface) - that is either parallel to the ground, or at an angle - and their feet on the floor, while lifting a weight (or set of weights) from their chest straight up (perpendicular to the floor).

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24
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9answers
45k views

Stronglifts - Why is my bench press/row progress lagging behind?

I have been following the Stronglifts program since February of this year, so I've been at it about 6 months. I had tried the program before, but I had been away from it for some time, so I started ...
19
votes
4answers
13k views

Is bench press with dumbbells less effective?

Is bench press with dumbbells less effective than bench press with barbell, if so why?
15
votes
7answers
9k views

How do I bench press safely without a spotter?

What do smart lifters do when they're working out alone and want to do benchpresses? I have a busy schedule, and it isn't practical for me to have a regular weightlifting partner. I've usually ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

Bench Pressing vs. Push-ups

Does bench pressing work out the same muscles as push-ups? If not, What's the difference?
10
votes
2answers
714 views

In a bench press, are there any tricks for determining which muscles are the weakest?

Is there some trick to determine which of the three basic muscles is the weakest in a bench press? I'm referring to the pectorals, shoulders and triceps. I have been working my chest with dumbbell ...
9
votes
1answer
289 views

Do Different Bench Press Variants Build Muscle Differently?

I once read somewhere (though not somewhere very reputable) that the incline bench press will build more muscle in the upper chest, while the flat bench press will build more muscle in the lower ...
8
votes
1answer
310 views

Correct elbow location for bench press?

I was watching a video from Strong Lift's Mehdi on bench presses, and I noticed that instead of his elbows going out he heeps them close to his body. I remember a friend telling me to do something ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What exercises can I do to equalize differences in upper-body strength?

I've been struggling with bench recently and have discovered that if my spotter supports the right side of the bar, I'm able to complete the set with considerably greater ease than if I did it on my ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

When I bench press, why do my hips sometimes cramp up?

When I bench press, I sometimes feel a muscle seize up slightly distal and lateral from my ASIS. I don't know what muscle this is, but I'm guessing it's involved with external rotation or abduction. ...
5
votes
3answers
589 views

Is it ok to just randomly ask someone to spot me?

I've been doing starting strength for a couple of weeks now and have a friend who has been training me in the technique and spotting me on the bench press. This last training session he didn't pitch ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the best way to breath while benching heavy?

I've heard both holding your breath for all reps and exhaling on the way up - what is the best approach and/or differences in approach? and are there other breathing patterns?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Substituting dumbell bench press for barbell bench press

I would like to begin with the strong lifts 5x5 program. The only problem I have is the lack of a spotter or power rack for the bench press. Would it be a good idea to do dumbell bench press instead? ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Bench press grip width?

I have a long reach and was wondering what the optimal position is for my grip during bench press. From finger-tip to fingertip I measure 6'6". I currently bench with my ring finger lined up on the ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Uneven chest by doing bench press/butterfly

I was eager to exercise so I brought some of the dumbbells home and without anyone's help I started doing butterfly exercise or mostly known as bench press. But this put me in a very huge dilemma. My ...
5
votes
1answer
602 views

Should my wrists have the pressure on them when I benchpress?

Whenever I bench press I notice that the weight is transferring back onto my wrists. I feel I could go to a higher weight but slight pain when doing this is holding me back. Is this because of bad ...
5
votes
1answer
170 views

Improve benching through adding speed to the lift…how?

I've been 'stuck' at 240 lbs in my bench press. My biggest issue seems to be in the lift off from the chest. From what I've been reading, this could be due to the lack of speed/initial explosive ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Hand position in dumbbell bench press

How does hand position in a dumbbell flat bench affect which muscles are activated? The positions I know are palms facing each other and the traditional palms facing down. On rare occasions I see ...
4
votes
3answers
259 views

Gymspeak for spotting

Usually I have a training partner so it's not an issue, but occasionally I require someone else in the gym to spot me on the bench press. I require that person to help me unrack the bar and rack it ...
4
votes
3answers
531 views

Bench press grip, thumb placement

What is the best practice as far as the thumb goes with respect to the bar? I normally have my thumb aligned with the rest of my fingers, but I often get asked why I don't wrap my thumb around the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What are some good 5x5 programs I can follow?

I'm looking to start a 5x5 program because I've heard that there are great benefits for beginners just starting to get into weight lifting. What are some good programs, and how can I pick the one ...
4
votes
2answers
565 views

What can I do to improve my bench press and squat?

I have been working out for a while, my weight is about 150lbs (68kg) and i am about 5'7 (1.70m). I bench press about 135lbs (61kg) and i can squat 250 (113kg). My question is: what kind of exercises ...
4
votes
4answers
436 views

Bench plateau, while other lifts continue to grow

I have been lifting weights for around a year now and my first program I followed was starting strength. Since then I have moved onto greyskull and my training week typically looks like this: ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Bowflex and similar systems versus free weights

I've been using a cheap set of cement weights to do benches and curls. This has been working well in concert with trips to the gym every few days to do other exercises. I've maxed out the barbell ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Arching the back during bench press

How dangerous is arching your back while doing a bench press? I've seen tons of guys in the gym who greatly arch their back off the bench, assumedly to assist with the lift. Is this bad, or just an ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Rotator cuff exercises not intended to build muscle?

Although the reasoning behind using low weights for rotator cuff exercises has been discussed in this post, I still feel that there is something I am uncertain about. I have heard people say about ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Can't seem to do a proper bench press … any reasons as to why?

My bench press, aside from me not liking the motion of the exercise, nor the overrated outlook on it in general, is pretty crappy, even with attempts to improve it. I follow a strict regimen only ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Benefits of dumbell bench press with palms facing towards yourself

Can someone please tell me which muscles are involved when dumbbell bench press is done with palms facing towards yourself? I tried it with my elbow tucked by my side and next day I didn't feel ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

How to create the leg drive and keep shoulder blades together while bench pressing?

I have heard various powerlifters on youtube to use the leg drive(1) and keep your shoulder blades tucked in or together throughout the rep(2) (just as we do on the low bar squats) while doing the ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the pros and cons of board bench pressing?

What are the pros/cons of board bench pressing? I know it helps reduce shoulder strain, but what benefits are there based on being able to lift more weight and what cons since you don't have full ...
3
votes
5answers
558 views

Doing rotator cuff exercises prior to bench press and shoulder press and any other exercises

Is it a good idea to do rotator cuff exercises (as a means of prevention of injury) using weights prior to doing exercises that utilize the rotator cuff such as the shoulder press or bench press and ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Shoulder feels sore/strained after 10 sets of 10 on Bench Press?

So I went to the gym today, I got on the bench and did 10 sets of 10 reps, using medium weight, took about 30 minutes to complete, only thing I did other than biking and a few chin ups, and now my ...
3
votes
5answers
12k views

Recurring muscle pull in Upper-back/Neck when doing overhead press/bench press - form advice

When I was doing a 5x5 based workout a year or so ago, I had issues when trying to push the weight on the overhead press. Even though the weight felt comfortable in the sense that I could do at least ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

difference between gym weights and home weights

at home I have a york fitness bar and york weight plates...the bar is 5kg I believe...I stack 4x10kg plates and 2x5kg plates on there for a total of 50kg. Now at the gym the bar is 20kg, but it is ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Power rack safety bars are either too high or too low

The guards are either too high or too low. When I put them too low the bar still touches my neck if I was to bail out of a lift. When they are 1 hole up the bar doesn't touch my chest (even when I ...
3
votes
1answer
272 views

Effect of band around arms when bench pressing

I worked out with some guys at my gym last night that introduced me to wearing a band just above the elbows (on the humerus) Below is a picture that partially resembles how I wore the band. Imagine ...
3
votes
2answers
891 views

Tips on un-racking weights for bench press

I'm about a month or two into the Stronglifts 5x5 programme and I've stalled on my bench-press. I'm stalling because I can't unrack the bar for the 5th set, the 4th set was pretty easy once I'd ...
2
votes
3answers
670 views

Is bouncing when lifting dangerous?

Some books recommend a gentle bounce when bench pressing or squatting. This feels wrong to me. It feels safer and more controlled to come to a complete stop, then start up again. What should I do?
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Will incline press target shoulders more than chest?

In madcow 5x5, it states you can substitute incline press for overhead press, which focuses on the shoulders. Does this mean incline press works shoulders primarily, too? I am confused here, I thought ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

Pullup Bar & Bodyweight exercises

First of all my excuses if this question seems stupid. I'm 19 years old and have a friend who is the same age as I do. He has been going to the gym for about 1,5 year, where he is mainly lifting ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

How to Isolate Initial Push on Bench Press

I am finding that the weak point of my bench press is the initial push, especially when doing heavy singles/doubles/triples. If I can move the bar the first six inches or so, then I can typically lock ...
2
votes
1answer
816 views

Improving my Bench Press - what muscles are used during what phase?

I'm looking to improve my bench press and I'm having trouble about 1/4 way off my chest - can someone describe what muscles are primarily activated during each phase (break the movement down to 1/4's ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Bench press - shoulders down and back

I'm unclear on exactly what keeping "shoulders down and back means". Does "down" mean extending your chest such that the shoulders stay back in position? And back meaning simply don't shrug them up ...
2
votes
4answers
212 views

Shoulder pain after training - How to continue?

I started weight lifting training again after a pause of 5 years. I started really slowly, always did a good warm up (10 min cardio + first sets with reduced weight). After two months of training I ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Submaximal benching: are failed reps always controlled?

I saw a video of a guy catastrophically fail at benching and drop the bar from an almost locked position. I also learned that he later died of internal injuries. He even had 3 spotters, so I no longer ...
1
vote
3answers
96 views

Is it ok, if i put my leg up on the bench while bench press

If this position is wrong? and when bringing the weight down, Do i need to rest bar on my chest slightly?
1
vote
2answers
156 views

I bench and squat way more than what I deadlift?

So I am pretty confused here because my deadlift is supposed to be more than my bench and squat. Currently, my bench is 225 while my squat is 315. My deadlift is only 135. I don't know why this is. ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Is double-men deadlift or squat or bench-press common?

I'd like to try them out with my gym buddy, is it commonly done in the gym?
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Difference caused by grip width on bench press

Background I've been fooling around with some variation in grip width on the bench press lately. I've had a trainer help me find my "ideal" width, which I use most of the time. I.e. the width where ...
1
vote
1answer
288 views

Is it safe to bench press another person?

My bench max is 225, and I am seriously considering benching my 150 Ib friend at the gym. He says I can do it if I want. Is this safe, and what is the worst outcome. What is the likely outcome?
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Different benches in bench press

What are the pro's and con's of a bench which is softer (i.e. has more cusions) than one with a harder surface?