How to Perform the Barbell Bench Press
The first exercise that people think of when they consider weight training is the barbell bench press. Most individuals, your online personal training clients included, imagine themselves throwing on heavy weight and pressing it up with ease from the start; not so fast.
When performed with correct form and an appropriate amount of resistance, bench pressing is an excellent option for most personal training clients. However, when done incorrectly and with too much weight, bench pressing can lead to a plethora of injuries.
To perform a bench press
- Have your client lie back under a bench and grasp the bar with their two pinky fingers around the knurls on each side of the bar to ensure that their grip is even.
- Start with very little weight, perhaps just the bar, and have your clients un-rack and take a breath in the locked-out position.
- Next, have your client slowly lower the bar in an arc toward their chest, ensuring that their elbows stay tucked into their sides rather than flaring out away from their body. Your client should lower the bar on a 2-second count, which keeps the weight under control throughout the lift.
- Once the bar touches the bottom portion of your client’s chest, have them press back up in the same arc until their elbows lock out at the top of the lift.
- Again, in order to stay under control, your client should press the bar up on a 2-second count.
- Your client should breathe in on the down portion and out on the up; make sure to remind your client to breathe throughout their set.
Judging a client’s strength and form is one of the more difficult challenges for in-gym personal trainers, let alone online personal trainers.
However, it is also one of the most important jobs of any trainer, so it should be taken seriously. Learning the correct form is the basis for long-term success in the gym. Stressing form to clients is absolutely critical.