Barbell Bench Press - Chest Muscles

Barbell Bench Press - Chest Muscles

The barbell bench press is a weight lifting exercise that emphasizes on the chest muscles (pectorals). This instruction is for the barbell bench press on a flat bench. Execution: Lie down on your back on a flat bench and push up & lower a weighted barbell directly over your chest. The bench press world record form 2007 was 470 kg (1036lbs) - Ryan Kennelly. Find more chest exercises at weight training and bodybuilding.


  • Lie down on a flat bench and keep your feet flat on the ground or lift your legs and let your thighs rest on your abdominals. The second variation is for people who tend to lift their lower back as they press the barbell away from the chest. Lift the barbell from the bench rack and use a grip a bit less than 2 shoulder widths broad. The perfect distance is slightly less than from elbow to elbow when your upper arms are in one line. Exhale as you lift the barbell from the bench press rack. Start with your elbows extended, but your arm muscles should still support your elbows. Keep your shoulders low, very close to the bench and never elevate them as you push the weight up. Keep your head, your buttocks and your lower back on the bench during the whole exercise. Elevating the lower back is bad form and can lead to back injuries.
  • Lower the barbell until it touches your chest and inhale slowly. The down motion has to be a bit slower than the up motion (appr. 3 seconds). When you lower the barbell, your elbows should point back (towards your feet) a little. Don't let the barbell bounce off your chest.
  • Then press the bar back up and exhale at the same time. The up motion is a bit faster than the down motion. Keep your shoulders very close to the bench as you press the weight back up. Slow down before you reach the highest point of the movement. You can injure your elbows if you extend your arms too fast.


  • The barbell bench press should be the first exercise in your chest workout.
  • Stretch your triceps and your chest/shoulder muscles between sets and exercises.
  • Butterflies or dumbbell flies are usually done after barbell bench press.
  • Bench press with a training partner.
  • Instead of the barbell bench press you can also do pushups for your chest muscles.
  • The bench press in one of the 3 lifts in the sport of powerlifting.