Bench press is a very popular exercise in the gym and is commonly referred to as a compound movement. This means it utilises the entire body. When bench press is performed correctly it is a great functional exercise to improve power and strength in the push motion.
Consequently, considering the large amount of force applied on the body and the need to use the whole body in unison it does create potential for injuries. In this blog we will address the common mistakes seen and how to correct them.
Below is a Bench Press checklist to ensure you have proper technique.
- Should not be extended, bar placed on centre of palm and gripping with thumb
- Forearm should be vertical throughout the entire movement. This is to avoid rotational forces on your elbow / shoulder.
If your grip is too narrow this will make it difficult for you to maintain a vertical forearm.
- Arms at 45-70 degrees from your body. Greater than this and you put a lot of force on the front of your shoulder which can cause Anterior Impingement.
- Avoid over gripping with your lats. The lats counteract the action of your pecs therefore you are making the movement inefficient by making them work against each other. Allow your shoulder blades to glide on your ribcage easily.
- Avoid over rounding your shoulders forward when lifting the weight off your chest.
- Mid Back
- Avoid over-arching your upper back, this can cause excessive compression and unnecessary bracing.
- Look out for rotation in your trunk when pressing, this could be from overactive obliques and/or lats
- Should be relaxed and long on the bench
- There is no need for tensing your neck muscles during a bench press
- Hips stay on bench, glutes squeezed
- Feet on the floor
There are many benefits to checking your form in the gym, these include
- Help correct misinformation; unfortunately, not all information out there is created equal, so it is important to analyse where the source is coming from.
- Identify training errors that could be contributing to your injury and thus speed up your recovery
- Return to sport optimally
- Prevent injury
- Create proper neuromuscular body patterns that will carry over to your daily life
Ask about our gym biomechanical assessment with one of our qualified physiotherapists by contacting 07 5761860 or emailing email@example.com.
We can address any technique or training questions. This can be done at our clinic or at your own gym.
Written by Physiotherapist Lucila Gatti