Stop Making These Fatal Bench Press Mistakes
The bench press is one of the most popular exercises and is one-third of the three big compound lifts (deadlifts and squats being the other two). It also happens to be one of the first exercises people learn to perform when they start working out.
The gym bros use the bench to compete for the strongest-bro title. While the bench press is widely performed across gyms in the entire world, it’s also arguably responsible for causing the highest number of injuries.
Most-Common Bench Press Mistakes Which Lead To Injuries
Keeping Your Elbows Flared Out
Most people believe that to target their chest optimally they need to keep their elbows flared out. By doing it, they make the mistake of keeping their upper arms parallel to the barbell while performing the bench press.
You need to remember that your shoulder rotator cuffs are one of the stiffest muscle groups and don’t have much mobility. Make sure you’re keeping your elbows tucked in while performing the bench presses to eliminate unnecessary tension from the rotator cuffs.
Not Arching The Back
Bench pressing isn’t as simple as lying down on a bench and lifting the barbell for a few reps. You need to follow proper form to get the most out of the exercise while keeping the chances of an injury at a bare minimum.
You need to arch your back as you lie down on the bench. The arch should be big enough that your hand can pass between your back and the bench. Lying down with your back flat against the bench can take the tension off the chest and put it on the back.
Grabbing The Barbell With Too-Wide A Grip
Some people have the misconception that grabbing the barbell with the widest grip will have the most impact on their pectoral muscles. Having too-wide a grip does nothing more than putting needless tension on your rotator cuffs.
People worry that holding the barbell with too close a grip will target their triceps instead of their pecs. To target your chest optimally, grab the barbell with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip.
Forgetting The Feet
One of the most overlooked aspects of bench pressing is the feet placement. You can generate a lot of power through your legs which can assist you in the bench press. Many people make the mistake of elevating their heels and keeping their toes floored or tapping their feet as they lift the weights while benching.
Having your feet placed flat on the floor and your legs spread to shoulder-width is essential in a solid bench press routine. By not driving through your feet and legs, you are leaving a lot of gains on the table.
Bouncing The Bar Off The Chest
In the veil of following a full range of motion, many people bounce the bar off their chest while benching. Bouncing the bar off the chest is one of the most common practices and has more disadvantages than benefits.
In the effort of lifting heavy weights by bouncing it off your chest, you can do some serious damage to your ribs. The spring-action can also limit your mind-muscle connection as your primary goal shifts to moving the weights for reps.
Also, if you’re bouncing the bar off the chest and still have to use a spotter, it’s a classic case of ego lifting. Check your ego at the door before you get to bench pressing as it has probably sent the most number of people to the hospital as compared to the other exercises.
Header image courtesy of Envato Elements
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