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Master The Bench Press: Top 5 Cues

The Bench Press seems to be every beginner's favorite exercise. It even has its own holiday, International Bench Press Day that people tend to celebrate every Monday! All jokes aside, the Bench Press is an important lift to master. Here are the Top 5 Cues to making sure you're getting the most out of your Bench Press.

  1. "Push the Bar Over Your Eyes" The bar path is a bit tricky in the Bench Press. It is not completely perpendicular to gravity, due to the anatomy of the shoulder. In order to press with the most force, the lifter must press the bar from the sternum on a curved route back over the eyes. This cue reminds the lifter of that.

  2. "Tuck Your Lats" The Bench Press is unique because the base from which the lifter pushes is not the hard surface of the floor. When squatting, you wouldn't want a soft, squishy surface under your feet, but you are forced into pressing off a soft surface in the Bench Press. The shoulders and upper back, acting as the lifter's base, need to contract and provide a stable surface. This makes tucking in the lats (the strong, meaty muscles of the mid-back) very important to the lifter's success.

  3. "Drive Your Feet Down and Out" Because the Bench is an upper body movement, it's easy to forget about the role the legs play in the movement. The lifter can maximize the tension in their body by driving their feet into the floor, engaging the muscles of the quads, adductors, glutes, and hamstrings, and thus creating an immense amount more force.

  4. "Elbows in Front of the Bar" If the lifters elbows stay in front of the bar, they can drive force along the proper path and there isn't wasted motion in any other direction.

  5. "Leg Drive Your Arch Into the Bar" It's easy to forget to keep tension throughout the legs and back, but raising the chest to meet the bar is just as important and controlling the descent of the bar. This cue is a good reminder of that!

I hope these 5 cues help you master the Bench Press!

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