Bench press : What are common mistakes?

Bench Press For Chest

bench press for chest muscle
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The bench press helps build many muscles in the upper body. You can do this exercise with either a barbell or dumbbells. Perform bench presses regularly as part of an upper-body workout for increased strength and chest muscle development

The bench press is a compound exercise that involves the pectoralis major of the chest, the anterior deltoids of the shoulder, and the triceps brachii of the upper arm. It builds strength as well as encouraging the growth (hypertrophy) of these muscles.

Muscle growth is not only desired by bodybuilders but also provides benefits for everyone as muscle mass typically declines with age. The bench press is a functional chest exercise that helps you more easily perform daily activities that require pushing or carrying.

The bench press can help restore muscle balance for athletes who primarily use pulling muscles. This includes wrestlers, rock climbers, and swimmers. The barbell bench press is also a competitive lift in the sport of powerlifting, the other two being the deadlift and squat.

Method of Performing bench press

If you don’t have access to a specialized bench press rack, a standard flat bench can be used. You can also do bench presses with dumbbells or a barbell. Whichever you choose, be sure to select the appropriate weight for you.

Lie on the bench, under the rack that holds the bar. Your eyes should be roughly aligned with the front of the barbell rack uprights. Butt, shoulders, and head are flat on the bench with a neutral spine. Your feet are flat on the floor and relatively wide apart.

If your feet are not comfortably flat on the floor. Use blocks or weight plates under your feet rather than placing your legs on the bench, which reduces stability.


  1. Draw your shoulder blades back behind you to keep from pressing with rounded shoulders.
  2. Grasp the barbell using an overhand grip, placing your thumbs on the outside of your closed fist. Your arms are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and the angle of your upper arms is about 45 degrees to the body.
  3. Remove the barbell from the rack, locking your elbows. (Don’t move the bar in an arc from the rack directly to the chest position.)
  4. Inhale while lowering the bar to your chest, at the nipple line.
  5. Exhale as you press the bar above your chest, extending your arms. Don’t watch the bar—focus on the ceiling.
  6. Lower the bar so it is just above your chest. This is the starting position for the next bench press.

Once you’ve finished your desired reps, place the bar on the rack with elbows in a locked-out position. Move the bar backward gradually until you feel the rack uprights, then lower the bar to the barbell rest.

Don’t try to hit the rack rests directly. If you miss, you can lose control, which can be dangerous

Common Mistakes

Avoid these common errors to keep your bench press safe and effective.

Moving Bar Over the Mouth or Neck

Make sure the path of the bar is not too low—over the mouth and neck region—when racking or unracking it. This means that you should move the weight to and from the rack from an arms-extended position, not low across the neck and face.

Improper Grip Width

Your grip on the bar should normally be wide enough to have your elbow joints at right angles (at a minimum) and forearms in a perpendicular plane. If your grip is too wide and your elbows too flared out, you risk injuring your pectoral muscles.You should grip the barbell in shoulder width for better grip.Shoulder width grip provide you better pump in your chest muscle .

If your grip on bar is wider ,then weight will effect on shoulder joints,it can causes injury in shoulder joint.Similarly if your grip is narrow ,then your tricep muscle will be trained as primary muscle.

Incorrect Thumb Position

Another grip-based mistake involves thumb position. Your hand grip should be overhand with the thumbs placed under the bar and across the top of the fingers. Don’t place the thumbs behind the bar or locked beneath the fingers.It may cause injury if bar slipped from hand during lifting .You should better perform this exercise with thumb locked ,it will not let the bar to be slipped

Locking Elbows Suddenly

Contrary to some weightlifting safety advice, you can “lock out” your elbows when doing a bench press.

 The key to making this action safe is to not lock the elbows out suddenly or explosively.

Pushing Head Into Bench

Keep your head flat on the bench and feet flat on the floor for stability, but don’t push your head into the bench to assist the lift—firm up the neck muscles instead.If you push your head into bench ,it may cause injury in your neck .

Arching Back and Lifting Buttocks

Your buttocks should remain flat on the bench during the press. Don’t emulate the powerlifter style of arching your back so much that your buttocks lift off the bench. If you do, this can result in low back pain.Proper form will help you to avoid injury.Small arch in back is safe and effective but you should take guidance of trainer .


Flat bench press is a most common and effective exercise among chest exercises.Bench press exercise is included in Powerlifting. In this exercise you can go heavy as much as you can.You should perform this exercise regularly for the chest growth. In bench press you have to take care of your grip otherwise load will shift to other muscle group.Wider grip on barbell will effect your shoulder joints and closer grip will effect on your Triceps.So Its better to perform under any coach or Personal trainer

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