Barbell Bench Press (Powerlifting Version)
Choose the appropriate weight matching your fitness level and type of training. Lie on the bench with your eyes directly below the bar. Grab the bar using a medium-wide overhand grip so that your elbows in the lower position (position where your elbows and shoulders are at the same level) are at about a 90-degree angle. Press your feet firmly against the floor. Move the barbell from the rack to above your chest. The powerlifting benchpress is usually done with the pelvis lifted while your feet (the full foot area) are pressing against the floor.The crus(lower legs) are perpendicular to the floor.
From the starting position, lower the barbell until the bar nearly touches your chest and then return to the starting position. Inhale while moving the bar downwards and exhale while pushing the bar upwards.Keep your elbows as close to your body as you can (that is one of the differences of this exercise from the version used in the bodybuilding bench press).
The torso position with a lifted pelvis has a potential risk of lower back injury. For that reason, appropriate pre-practicing is required. It is recommended to use this position only when the core muscles of your body are sufficiently strong.
It is better to do this exercise with a trainer or partner to assist with a heavy weight.
Barbell bench press, or just “bench press” is arguably the most popular exercise and also one of the three most basic ones (along with squat and deadlift).
The popularity of bench press stems mainly from its beneficial effects on upper body muscle growth: the involved muscles include pectorals (mostly the middle part of the pectoralis major muscle), triceps, deltoids (anterior or front part) and several stabilizing muscles.
Barbell bench press is also a source of many injuries caused by a wrong technique. Although there are several possibly correct ways of doing the bench press here we try to describe the safest and most efficient one:
Rule number one: Do not use a very wide grip. The wider the grip the higher the danger of shoulder injury.
Rule number two: Use scapular retraction. In simple language, keep the shoulder blades together from the moment you prepare to grab the barbell.
Rule number three: The barbell should be placed right over your wrist. Otherwise you risk wrist injury (even so barbell bench press causes a fair deal of wrist stress).
Rule number four: Arch your body slightly with glutes on the bench.
Rule number five: Keep the elbows close to your trunk. This will also decrease the risk of shoulder injury.
Rule number six: Avoid lowering the barbell too close to your neck. Out of the obvious danger from the throat you are again begging for shoulder joint/rotator cuff problems.
Rule number seven: Squeeze the bar. You will get better results if you hold the bar tightly with clenched fists.
You will see people doing different bench presses. They will tell you that this or that modification gives them better workout for some part of some muscle (lowering the bar to the neck, holding the shoulders wide, not arching etc.)
Be clever. You will be surprised to find out how common the shoulder injuries are. Do not give up the possibility to train for a questionable improvement of 0.5%.