Barbell Bench Press

The barbell bench press is an upper body pressing drill that builds size and strength in the upper body, specifically in the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Lying flat on a bench allows for improved stability. The exercise allows for the greatest amount of weight to used, which makes it ideal for building strength, size, and power.

Step by step instructions

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Exercise Steps 1


Lie on your back on a bench. Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip just wider than shoulder-width apart and hold it above your chest with your arms fully extended. This will be your starting position.

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Exercise Steps 2


Lower the bar straight down in a controlled motion. Make sure you keep your elbows tucked in close to your body so your upper arms form a 45-degree angle to your body in the down position. Pause, and then press the bar in a straight line back up to the starting position.

Mistakes and Tips

  1. Make sure to wrap your thumbs around the bar to ensure safety.
  2. Do not bounce the bar off of the chest. Move the bar in a controlled fashion.
  3. Avoid arching the lower back. Instead, keep your hips on the bench throughout the entire movement.

Advanced Variations