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Proper Way To Bench Press


For a couple years now I've been doing bench press by lowering my arms until the upper arms were parallel to the ground(arms being at a 90 degree angle) then lifting. Have I been setting myself up for failure by not lowering all the way to the chest? Is there an increased risk of injury compared to lowering the bar all the way down? I appreciate the advice.


It depends on how wide your grip is. If you have an extremely wide grip you wont hit 90 degrees until you are very close to your chest. With a narrower grip you will hit 90 pretty early in the ROM and a moderate grip will be somewhere in between.

At the lowest point during most bench presses your arms will be at slightly less than a 90 degree angle. It sounds like you should go a little lower if you arent even reaching 90, or you are using a grip that is much too wide.


Yep your setting yourself up for failure, I see kids come into the gym and do the same shit, they put 225, one kid even goes above 315 and only go half way down push up and then walk like bad asses.

You need to think nothing great ever came easy and cheating on bench like that is cheating, it would be the same as only bending your knees to like 135 degrees squating you feel somthing there but you aren't doing the main part of the work out.


Partials can help, but probably not as much when used on a regular basis. For the original poster: check out Eric Cressey's Shoulder Savers Par 1 and Part 2, he explains the savest way to bench press.


On the contrary. There's increased risk of injury in you lower the bar to the chest, especially with a wide grip.

It's good practice the push the bar back up when it's about half an inch off the chest. Also, you won't be tempted to bounce the bar off the chest. And that really is cheating.


Failure! phooey--

Going down to a 90 degree arm angle is hardly cheating. What the hell are board presses for? Also, without seeing his grip, arm length, chest thickness, who knows how far down 90 is.

He is greatly lessening his chance for injury and may be doing a lot of other exercises that do more fully hit the chest.


If you want to greatly lessen your chances of injury lessen the weight don't show off do whatyou can do and build on it. Board presses and pinlock outs are usefull but you don't do them every week, and if you do you are missing half of the movement.


Touch your chest!


No, touch your throat! Bench pressing is way more difficult when your arms are perpendicular to your head rather than when angled (as in powerlifting). I find my chest receives a much higher level of stimulation via the former method (especially because my oversized tris get placed in a disadvantageous position). CT recommended presses to the neck/throat some time ago for lagging-sized chests...

Just don't go to failure w/o a spotter as it may lead to a serious injury including but not limited to death.

Peace be with you.


If I had to describe my grip, it would be closer to a wide grip than medium, by the time the bar is ready to be pushed out, I'd say it is about an inch above my chest, I'm not even sure I can go any lower than that even if I tried. Thanks everyone for their time and feedback.


What about shoulder health? Doesnt benching like this put alot of stress on the shoulders? (see Eric Cressey's article)


My grip is about 8-10 inches beyond shoulder width, on either side. Shoulder blades are pinched together and pushed down ... and I touch chest each rep , without a bouce .. and my elbows go way beyond 90.
I've been benching like this for about 15 years, and already had bad shoulders from football. This hasn't made it any worse ... and I have decent depth to my chest.


there is no absolute 'proper' way to bench. it depends on one's objectives.


Use full R.O.M.

But if your not used to it. Start out light for a while. Slwoly working your way up in weight only as your technique stays the same & does not change.

And remember this. If your benching you should spend equal amount if not more time training the back with a horizontal row.

And retract your shoulders during the entire lift. And keep them retratced. If your shoulder blades come undone @ anytime, you should decrease weight until you can keep them tepgther.



watch the video on shoulder savers and see the part on benching.

hope that helps


i always only went up 3/4's and never went to full lock out ?

isnt that the best way to stimulate your chest ?


If your hands are on the rings then you can't complain if they are wider then you need to bring them in.


You guys are all gonna destroy your shoulders.

This is how you do it.

Put on the heaviest weight you can handle. You need heavy weights to simulate chest!

Get a spotter. Spotte4r is improtant!

Tight grip, scream like an animal, for the power!~#@!

Lower the bar about 4". 5" if you're really serious about ROM. Then push up with all your might. Since it's so heavy, your spotter will have to help.

Repeat for 10 reps. 20 sets of that will have you hyyyyooooge in no time.

Working out in your white singlet is optional, but will give you 5-10% more power.


I detect some sarcasim and I think it is completely justified. Listen bench pressing is a chest exercise, to get the maxium stretch and stimulation of the chest you must touch your chest. Yes board presses are an exercise but they are a tricep exercise meant to increase your "lockout", if you were only supposed to go down half way then board presses wouldn't be called board presses, they would be called bench pressing.

Listen if benching hurts your shoulders don't do it. The correct form of bench pressing is to touch your chest, anything higher then that isn't cheating, it's just not bench pressing either.