T Nation

A Little Wobbly on Bench Press

Hey,

yesterday I did my 3rd workout. Kinda actually know what the hell I’m doing this time around. On the Bench Press, I’m finding that I’m really “wobbly” with the bar, and my body is even tilting left and right. Almost felt like I was going to fall to the right off the bench, but I caught myself.

I added 5 lbs after every set, was I not supposed to do this because I’m still trying to stabilize the bar, or will I eventually get used to it??

Make sure you set up right.

When you lie down onto the bench, squeeze your shoulder blades together, this will create a ‘shelf’ and really stabilize your upper body.

Also, pull your legs back as far as possible without having the heels come off the floor. Then, spread your legs wide and squeeze your glutes.

These methods will greatly stabilize your body.

If it’s a problem with your arms stabilizng the bar however, you will learn to perform the exercise smoothly as you gain more experience. So don’t worry.

Get used to benching just the bar until you have the form down.

First time I tried benching with free weights as a freshman I experienced the same thing, even though I could smith machine around 100 at the time. It just takes time to get used to using free weights.

Get someone to spot you. If you’re benching without a spotter, and you aren’t really confident about what you�??re doing, you’ll hold back to avoid hurting yourself. It’s really more efficient to just do something else.

The thing about spotters is, there are hardly any other people in the gym whenever I go. I’ve never seen more than 3 people at once (including myself). One guy was going from exercise to exercise rapidly, and appeared he didnt want any interruptions in his workout.

It’s the main reason I’ve kept it pretty light so far. I still dont know my limits. I’m going to have to really step it up a notch this next time to get some real gains. Just trying not to put myself in a position of being pinned or stalled.

Make sure your grip is not too far apart. Keep your hands at a comfortable width to begin with. When you get better at handling the exercise, you should then experiment with changing the width, depending on your goals or programme.

[quote]StickBoyTim wrote:
The thing about spotters is, there are hardly any other people in the gym whenever I go. I’ve never seen more than 3 people at once (including myself). One guy was going from exercise to exercise rapidly, and appeared he didnt want any interruptions in his workout.

It’s the main reason I’ve kept it pretty light so far. I still dont know my limits. I’m going to have to really step it up a notch this next time to get some real gains. Just trying not to put myself in a position of being pinned or stalled.[/quote]

If I were you, actually, when i was you, I used dumbbells for the first few months. Learn your limits and not as much risk without a spotter.

[quote]evansmi wrote:

If I were you, actually, when i was you, I used dumbbells for the first few months. Learn your limits and not as much risk without a spotter.
[/quote]

I second that.

Dumbbells area great tool for learning how to be stable during the whole pressing movement, and benching without a spotter while being unable to completely control the bar is actually quite dangerous, light weight or not

I second what Der Candy said, but on that note, I would personally recommend you do some benching with dumbbells if they are available. This will help build that stabilization you so desire and will carry over into your barbell bench as well. If you cannot get any db’s or just don’t want to use them, drop the weight a little and focus on going slower with extremely strict form.

try dumbbells, then you dont need a spotter

feet on the floor
tighten that gut
use dumbbells to fix your imbalance

When Im in a bind for a spotter, I’ll use either the Squat rack or power rack bars for a spot. Just be sure you set up with the bar as close as you can to your chest. Unlike the tool in the example photo.