How to do Flat Bench Press
Lying face up on a flat bench grip the bar and lower the weight to your chest and press it back up.
How to do it:
1. Lie flat on the bench with no arching in the back. Head, shoulder blades, buttocks, and hamstrings should all be touching the bench.
2. Feet flat on the floor to provide a good foundation with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Your lower legs
should be perpendicular to the floor.
3. Your head should be positioned with the top of your head even with the bar. Grip the bar so that the bar sits in the palm of your hands. Place your hands on the bar so that your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. At this point everything should be “square”. Meaning your forearms are perpendicular to the floor and your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Your wrists should NOT be bent. Your elbows are out away from the body at about 45 degrees.
4. As you take the weight off the rack straighten your arms. The bar should be positioned directly over your nipples or slightly (inch or so) higher.
5. As you lower the weight your elbows should stay flared away from your body at a 45 degree angle. Stop the weight an inch from touching your
chest and press it back up.
Do’s and Don’ts:
1. Don’t bounce the weight off your chest. It is cheating and dangerous to do so.
2. Don’t do the “rolling stop” at the bottom. Bring it down, hesitate for a split second and push it back up.
3. Don’t lock your arms at the top. Stop just short, hesitate and bring it back down.
4. Do squeeze your shoulder blades together just before you start lifting. This makes sure that all things in your upper body are focused on the pecs.
5. Don’t move your feet. Keep the foundation. It forces more work into the chest.
6. Don’t arch your back. Much. As you tire it will be impossible to not arch it a little. If you arch it more than 2-3 inches, you are done.
7. Do use a spotter.
Incline and decline bench press. Incline press has your upper body raised. It does not need to be raised more than 15-22.5 degrees. The higher you raise yourself the more you are taking the work out of your chest and placing it into your shoulders. Still inclines work the upper half of your pecs more. Decline has your upper body lower. Most gyms decline bench is fixed in amount. This move tends to feel awkward for most people, and takes some getting used to. The upside is that you are stronger in this position than either flat or raised (arching your back on flat puts you in a slight decline and your stronger this way, that’s why you do it when
you tire), so once acclimated to it you can use more weight.
Muscle building importance:
Number 1 upper body move. The foundation compound move. You will do this exercise for as long as you lift, if you want to build upper body muscle.