Barbell Bench Press

Barbell Bench Press

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Chest
Secondary Muscle(s) Shoulders, Triceps
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Push

Barbell Bench Press Instruction

  • Firmly plant your heels into the ground with your shins roughly perpendicular to the floor.
  • Focus on pinching your shoulder blades (scapulas) together as you lie back on the bench.
    • This creates a stable shoulder position to press from.
  • Grip the barbell slightly wider than shoulder width
    • Try to ‘break the bar’ in half as you grip it, this will create lat and upper back tightness.
  • Lower the barbell at a slight angle away from you with the bar touching at or just below your nipple line.
  • Still continue to ‘break the bar’ apart as you press up, this will keep your form locked in.
  • Since the bar descent was slightly away from you, remember to press on the same path upward.
  • Do not let your butt come off of the bench or excessively arch your back.


  • If new to this exercise or dealing with heavier weight even, have someone spot you.
  • Be in control of the weight for the entire duration of the lift.
  • Too wide of a grip puts an excessive strain on your pectorals while also decreasing lat tightness.
  • Too narrow a grip can place excess stress on the elbow joint and bicep
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