Common Bench Press Mistakes and How to Fix Them
The bench press has a reputation among gym goers as a de facto upper body strength exercise, but its reputation among coaches says it otherwise: it causes multiple injuries because people take them too easily.
The first rule of the bench press club: Never try to bench press beyond your capacity when you are alone or don’t know what you are doing. There is always a bystander , or essentially someone who makes sure you are not crushed. Also, write down these common mistakes:
- You are not using your legs: the bench press obviously works your upper body, but it requires your entire body, including your legs, to make the exercise work. Your legs help you stabilize, but also most of your strength comes from screwing your feet into the ground as you push up.
- You are not keeping your body under sufficient tension: this bench is not the solid foundation you need for a safe bench press. Your tightly compressed body. Kevin Mullins , Equinox trainer in Washington DC, offers the following tips: “Push off the floor with your feet while pushing the bar off your chest and bringing your shoulder blades together to“ eat ”the bench, which helps you engage your lats. “
- Your elbows are too far from your body: this makes you more prone to injuries to your shoulders and elbows. Mullins says, “Imagine drawing a directional arrow, not a T, with the angle of the head and elbow.” This focuses more on the chest muscles rather than the shoulders.
- You just let the weight drop to your chest: ideally, you should lower the bar slowly and confidently. Slivon Blanco of Von Blanco Fitness believes that the bottom of the bench press is just as important as the push. Not only is it dangerous for the AF to let the weight drop freely, you are missing out on the added strength benefits of the extra barbell control effort.
A strong bench press means your entire body, from legs to shoulders, must be tense and contracted to protect your shoulders and spine. If you’re unfamiliar with this, check out our bench press tutorial.