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Bench Press
Works the chest or pectorals

When performing the Bench Press, remember, your typical bar weights 45 pounds. For some, the bar may be too heavy. No problem. If that is the case, reach for a pair of dumbbells and find a weight that is comfortable and light. Using dumbbells will insure balanced lifting. Again, do not use too much weight and do not be intimidated by others in the gym lifting heavy weights. Stick to your plan. Many individuals use a "spotter" because they are lifting heavy weights. If you require a spotter for this reason, then you are lifting too much! However, in the beginning, a spotter may be helpful to insure you are using proper form. Remember, you want a weight (or weights) you can control.

1) Lay on the bench facing upwards. If you cannot place your feet on the ground while lying on your back, bring your feet to the bench. It is important to keep your back flat (photo 2)
2) At this point, you should have determined if the bench bar is too heavy. If no, while on your back, grab the bar about shoulder length apart. If you look closely, you will notice that the bar will a rough "grip" area on each side. Using the grips as a guide, place your hands equal distance on both sides to insure proper balance. (photo 1)
3) Lift the bar off the bench stand - arms extended directly above your chest (photo 3). Lower the bar on a four second count and raise it on a two count. On the downward portion, let the bar barely touch your chest then lift again (photo 4). Guys (hopefully ladies!) DO NOT BOUNCE THE BAR OFF YOUR CHEST and do not lock your elbows when your arms are extended.

1) If you are using dumbbells, follow step one.
2) Once on your back, start with the dumbbells extended above your chest.
3) Lower the dumbbells together (keeping your arms even throughout the entire range of motion) on a four count and raise them on a two count. Make sure you control the dumbbells. Proper form in key! (photos 5 & 6)





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