Bench press (barbell)



Muscle Groups

Planes of Motion

Outer Unit

Necessary Material


The barbell bench press is the exercise to develop upper body strength. It allows the athlete to lift a heavy weight to place more tension on the upper body muscles.

The bench press is often overemphasized in training. Put variety in your training regime. Push from different angles and alternate the barbell bench press with push-up variations and the dumbbell bench press.

Starting Position

Lie supine on a bench, grasping a barbell slightly wider then shoulder-width.

Position your feet on the floor.


Lift the barbell from the rack.

Lower the barbell to the middle of the chest.

Press the barbell back up until the elbows are fully extended.

On completing the prescribed number of repetitions return the barbell to the rack.

Coaching Keys

Do not arch your back or lift the hips from the bench while pressing up.

Do not bounce the barbell off the chest at the bottom position.


The bench press can be performed with various inclination angles and hand positions:

  • Close grip bench press

    For the close grip bench press, grasp the barbell with a shoulder-width grip or slightly narrower. This exercise emphasizes the triceps muscles and the upper part of the pecs more compared to the regular bench press (barbell). It is suitable for all fitness levels.

  • Incline bench press

    The incline bench press is a chest exercise, suitable for all fitness levels. The incline position shifts the emphasis to the anterior shoulder muscle and upper chest.