Exercise of the week: The barbell bench press

What is it?

The barbell bench press is an upper body lift, which works the pectoralis muscles. When performed correctly, it can become a whole body lift that also trains the legs and core stability.

How to do it:

It is advisable to have a training partner for this exercise to help un-rack the bar and to step in if you need help with the barbell at any point. This is particularly advisable if it’s a new technique for you.  

Lie on the bench making sure your bum, upper back and head are all in contact with the pad. Line up your eyes with the bar and make sure your neck is positioned neutrally to prevent injury.

Grip the bar and lower it towards your chest keeping your whole body tight. Lift the bar back up away from your chest, pushing your feet into the ground. This will work your quads, glutes and will deliver more strength as you press. Use your breathing to your advantage by exhaling each time the bar is at the top, allowing you to breathe in again before you lower the bar again.