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Bench Press Chest Press

Bench Press Chest Press is an exercise used to strengthen the chest, shoulders, and triceps. The exercise requires a bench and barbell. Starting in a supine position on the bench, the arms are fully extended above the chest with an overhand grip. The bar is then lowered towards the chest, keeping the elbows tucked in until the barbell makes contact with the chest. The press is then finished by extending the arms back to the starting position. This exercise is a great choice to

Transcript

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This is Brent, President of B2C Fitness, and today we're doing one of my favorite
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strength training exercises, the bench press. That's right, we're here in the
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studio doing chest on a Sunday, knowing full and well that Monday is National
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Chest Day. Anyway, this is one of our relatively stable chest exercises. Now,
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I'm not talking for necessarily a novice individual. A novice individual is still
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going to find the bench press to be fairly unstable, but for most of us this
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is going to be in that strength or max strength portion of our periodized
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program, and we're going to use a slightly lower rep range. I'm going to have my
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friend Laura come out to help me demonstrate some of the cueing and some
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little pointers to help you improve upon your bench press. Now, first things
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first, the most awkward part of the bench is actually the lift off. That puts the
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shoulder in kind of a weird position, where we have a fairly large amount of load
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over the face, it's not directly over the shoulder, scapula, thoracic region, so it's
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a little harder to stabilize. It is always a good idea to have a spotter. We
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want to make sure that when she sets herself up, she doesn't send her chest
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under the bar because that might lead to us tagging these hooks that are holding
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this bench up. So usually I tell people to get their eyes level with the bar so
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that when they pull the bar over their chest they have plenty of clearance room
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here. So, I'm going to have Laura go ahead and set up, grab the bar where
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she's comfortable. Comfortable should be a place where when you're at the
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bottom, throughout the majority of your motion, your forearm is perpendicular,
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straight up and down to the floor. Alright, so I'm going to help Laura off.
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I'm going to give her a little count off, so one-two-three. I'll have you push off, good.
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I'm then going to make sure that I align her so that she is over her chest. This is
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particularly important for people who haven't done bench before. I don't want
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her directly over her shoulder, I want more, not to be vulgar, but
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across the nipple line. So just a little lower than chest height, that will help
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keep us from any sort of impingement that may occur in the shoulder. She's
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going to go ahead and lower down to wherever she's comfortable, and then
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press right back up. I hear a lot of people talk about range of motion with
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the bench. Your range of motion is the largest range of motion that you can
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keep optimal form, and that is pain-free. So Laura, let's go ahead and show them
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that one more time. Good. Now let's talk about stabilization. I want her
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protracting as far as she can at the top, alright, so she's really pushing off.
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What protracting does is allows your scapula to tip up this way, and that
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gives some bony support to the humerus which is applying pressure this way. I
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know some people have cued retraction in a bench that allows for no bony support
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from the humerus that is pushing straight down. Alright so once again, go
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ahead and drop down, push up, protract all of the way in. Now, I have some people talk
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about stability progression where they put their feet up on the bench, or they
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put their feet up on the bench to try to protect their back. If you find that you
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feel more comfortable putting your feet up on the bench it is probably a good
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idea to stretch your hip flexors and start working on some glute activation.
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Putting your feet up on the bench is not necessarily a fix-all for somebody
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with lower back discomfort. Besides, there's another benefit to keeping your
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feet on the floor. If Laura has her feet on the floor I can make her kinetic
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chain far more stable which should contribute to better bench performance.
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I'm going to have her push her feet through the ground. By pushing her feet
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through the ground, this is going to activate her glute max which is a hip
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extensor, but also one of the primary stabilizers for the lumbo-pelvic hip
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complex. If she has her glutes tight and I then asked her to draw-in, her lumbar
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spine now has something stable, being her pelvis, to rely on. If her spine is stable
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her scapula will be more stable. So now we have glute lumbo public
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hip complex to spine to scpular thoracic stability, to hopefully - go ahead
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show us one more time - a nice strong bench. I know, like I said, some
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people feel more comfortable with their feet up. Have them stretch their hip
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flexors and activate their glutes and see if you can't turn that around. I have also
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seen this as a stability progression. It is more unstable to put your feet up. I
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have personally backed away from that because I would rather reinforce
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optimal stabilization mechanics throughout my kinetic chain. Now, the last
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thing I might hint on is breathing. This is one of those exercises where people
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hold their breath and that's not totally inappropriate, as long as they don't hold
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their breath for an entire set. So what I usually have people do is
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breathe in on the way down, if they need to hold their breath as they're turning
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force around, so they went from eccentric and now they're going to concentric, that's
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the hard part, that's okay, but then breathe out either on the way up, or at the top
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of the movement. So have them breathe in, get nice and stable, hold, push. Good. If that's
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comfortable, great. What I do see more often than not is people tend to over
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cue breathing. You don't need to get into all of those breathing mechanics if
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somebody's breathing naturally. Only cue those mechanics if you
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see somebody who's turning red, and holding their breath for an entire set.
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Now, I hope you can also see this nice line that she's got going on here. Go
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ahead and drop down, and back up, and then when we rack it, once again, you want a
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nice spotter there to make sure that she doesn't miss the rack and catch her face
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on the way down. I'm going to just have her put this back, I'm going to help her through it.
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Now, last but not least, this is a dangerous exercise to do without a
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spotter if you're going to risk and do heavier weights. Obviously this is a
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weight that Laura is very comfortable with which allowed me to walk
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around, which allowed me to cue her through all of this movement, which
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allowed me to create this educational video. If we were doing, let's say, a heavy
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day, I would not be standing over here. I would be cueing her between sets,
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giving her verbal cues from this position, and let's just show them one
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more time, I would make sure that she is one-two-three, that I have my hands
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underneath this bar, and that I am
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following her through a good squat, so that if she gets in trouble I could lift this
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bar, or at least help her lift this bar off her chest. The problem with bench, unlike a lot of other
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exercises, you can't drop the weight and get it out of your way. So there you go,
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stable kinetic chain, make sure you watch your line, protract through the top,
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safety first, make sure you get a spotter when you need one. I hope you
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enjoy this chest exercise, even though we did this video on a Sunday, we had a lot of