Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Flat Barbell Bench Press - Exercise Explained Video Series


          Series of videos explaining how to perform bodybuilding exercises. In part 1 we explain the flat barbell bench press. The flat barbell bench press is one of the most popular exercises used in the gym and is the basic exercise for building muscle mass and strength in the chest. The flat barbell bench press is also a compound exercise that uses the triceps, front deltoids, traps and back.
          To execute the flat barbell bench press, lie down on a flat bench with you feet flat on the floor. Take a medium grip on the bar or experiment with grip widths until you feel comfortable. Then take the bar off the rack and hold it out at arms length. Lower the barbell slowly to the nipple line then press up in a slight backward arc so that the bar finishes approximately over your face. You should inhale as you are lowering the bar and exhale as you are pressing up.
          On the flat bench, you should bring the bar to the point where the breastbone ends (for most people). A bit higher is okay but don't go lower as this makes it difficult to keep your elbows under your wrists.
         Always keep your elbows directly under the wrists. If they are inside or outside you give away power laterally, pushing out instead of up. This is seen most often in wide-grip bench. It aggravates the shoulders and can cause stretch marks.
         To determine your proper grip, using just the bar, lower it to your chest and look at your forearms. They should be vertical and directly under your wrists. Keep your wrists straight. Don't cock them or allow them to twist during the exercise. This causes undue stress on the wrist and reduces power in your shoulders, chest and arms.
         Driving with your legs is a part of the bench press few people understand but can give you increased power out of the bottom of the movement.
        Your feet should be on the floor, feet and legs parallel to the bench. Your knees should be bent at about 80 degrees with your heels dug into the floor.
        Squeeze your glutes to raise your butt up (but not off the bench). At the moment you begin to push the bar up, drive with your feet. In essence, try to use your heels to slide your body up the bench.
        The weight will keep you from sliding but that push backwards will translate into upward push on the bar. That is why your lower legs should be angled back—so they can push.
        Practice using your feet to slide yourself up the bench with just the bar to get the feel for the action. This drive will translate directly into added power out of the bottom of the bench press, increasing the amount of weight you will be able to press.

In these videos heavy weights will not be used as the emphasis is on explaination and correct form.

For information on building more muscle with less weight CLICK HERE

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