The bench press is one of the most popular exercises in the world. Heck, even Arnold Schwarzenegger loves the exercise.
The bench press is a compound exercise that mainly hits your chest but it also hits part of the shoulders and triceps as well.
But, as popular as this exercise may be, there are some common mistakes that people make when performing the bench press.
So in this article, I will talk about the 5 common bench press mistakes and how to fix you could fix them.
- Lifting Your Hips Off the Bench. When doing the bench press with proper form, you have to arch your back a little bit so your chest will pop out and your hips will be slightly elevated during the process. What most people do is that their hips are lifted off the bench way more than it should. This can be problematic as you will be prone to spinal injuries. To fix this, arch your back, pop out your chest, and let the arching motion dictate the position of your hips. In other words, do not let your hips lift off of the bench too much.
- Bouncing the Bar Off Your Chest. This is another common bench press mistake people do in the gym. What most people do is that when they lower the bar, they bounce it off their chests to propel the bar upward. This is a big mistake because, for one, your chest will get damaged especially when you lift heavier weights, and two, you’re not really making full use of the range of motion as you use your chest to help you bounce the bar upward. To fix this, let the bar touch your chest and do not use your chest to bounce the bar up.
- Spotter-Assisted lifts. When doing a bench press especially with heavy weights, you need to have a spotter to be there to assist you with the lift off and the spotter should be there should you need assistance in the latter parts of your sets. The problem here is that most people often gets assisted by their spotter in every rep they make. This is a problem because you will not be able to really hit your chest by doing this. To fix this, have your spotter help you only during lift off and only when you’re having trouble with the later parts of your reps.
- Incorrect Shoulder Placement. I’ve mentioned earlier that the bench press hits your shoulders too. What most people do is they put their shoulders in an incorrect position when doing a bench press. In order to fix this and avoid injury, your shoulders should be activated and your back muscles contracted before lowering the bar to your chest. That is why you arch your back slightly when performing a bench press.
- Half-Repping. Half-repping is a gym sin and a lot of people are doing it when performing the bench press. What I mean by half-repping is that you do not do an exercise with its intended full range of motion. Since the bar will be lifted and lowered to your chest during the exercise, if you’re not using the full range of motion, you will not be taking full advantage of the exercise. When performing the bench press, make sure that you fully extend your arms when the bar is up and allow the bar to touch your chest when the bar is down.
If you want to build a rock solid, popped out chest, you need to avoid these 5 common bench press mistakes like the plague.