Bench Press Technique

This page is about bench press technique. We will go over good and bad bench press technique and why using strict bench press technique will help you increase your bench press by much more, in a shorter time period!

All professional bench pressers use strict bench press technique. As champion bench press king Scot Mendleson says below, it's correct bench press technique that makes big bench presses! You should use correct bench press technique in ever rep, and ever set of your bench press workout. If you use correct technique, you will build a bigger bench press!

OK, let's have a look and the good and bad forms of bench press technique, starting with a top bench press technique tip from Scot Mendelson...

Scott bench press technique picture

Scot Mendelson
900lbs+ Bencher

Top bench press technique tip from super bencher Scot Mendelson!
Big chests do not make big bench presses. Proper technique makes the primary movers the back (latissimus dorsi), triceps, and rear deltoids. On a standard 15-17" bench, pull your shoulder blades together so the shoulders rest on, and not off, the bench's surface. This shortens the distance from the chest to full extension and eliminates your arms' weakest range of movement.

Bench press technique - the good, the bad, the ugly

Use the correct grip - GOOD
Correct grip is standard bench press technique. You must use the correct grip to get the most out of your bench press routine! An easy way to check if you're using the correct bench press grip is to grab a bar with no weights on it, adopt your normal grip, and bring the bar down to your chest. Now look at the angle of your forearms. They should be pointing straight up (vertical) at a 90 degree angle to the bar. This is correct bench press technique.

Locking your elbows - BAD
This is the most common form of bad bench press technique. Never lock your elbows at the top of the movement! You need to keep the pressure on your chest. This is very bad bench press technique, don't do it.

Bouncing the bar off your chest - BAD
Another common form of bad bench press technique. When you bench press, only let the bar come to one inch off your chest, pause, then push the bar back up. This will ensure you don't use bad bench press technique.

Control the weight - GOOD
A bencher using good bench press technique has control over the weight for the whole movement. If you find it hard to keep up strict bench press technique for the whole movement use a spotter to assist you. You will get stronger using correct technique and lighter weights than you would using bad bench press technique and heavy weights.

Feet fixed and wide apart - GOOD
For a big bench press you need a solid and stable platform to work with. Keep your feet flat on the floor at all times. Good bench press technique is a wide and flat position for your feet.

Moving the bar too fast! - BAD
Remember what we said about control being good bench press technique? Well it applies here. Slowly lower the weight down and push back up. Focus on chest muscles and own the weight through the whole rep!

Make the bar hit the middle of your chest - GOOD
When using correct bench press technique you will bring the bar straight down to the middle of your chest (just above your nipples).