Love this movement! Here are some tips for you to maximize your strength gains and stay safe with this movement.
1. Points of contact. Take as much time to set-up with the bench press as you would with the back squat. Don’t just lay down and relax. Feet should be flat with knees at a 90 degree angle. Screw your feet into the group and squeeze your glutes to create torque in your hips, thus creating a strong base for your bench press. Squeeze your shoulder blades back into the bench and keep your core tight to stay in a stable, braced natural lumbar curve (slightly arched lower back).
2. Lift the bar off the rack strong. Grip should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Wrap your thumb around the bar. When you lay down make sure your eyes or nose are directly underneathe the bar. This ensures that you will not hit the rack when you’re benching.
3. Full range of motion. Slowly lower the bar down touching your chest and press back up to full extension. Try and keep your elbows down and forearms vertical.
4. Use a spotter. Spotters should use an alternating hand grip when they need to help out the person benching. Never give up on a bench press! As the person benching, keep pushing even in a sticking point. This is when the spotter should help out by apply enought lift to get the bar moving again so the bencher can finish the rep.
Watch the above video for more tips and exercise demonstration! Try these tips and you will be on your way to adding more to your bench press.