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Eliminate these mistakes with the bench press [Article, Video]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

May 23, 2017 10:00:00 AM


Eliminate these mistakes with the bench press

This is a little write up of the things which I could have done better right from the start to learn the bench press. I gathered these little tips from different sources and put them together. Please leave a comment or tell me your own story about the bench press.


Bench press calculator

No white knuckling

At the beginning, I did not make use of white knuckling especially for the bench press. White knuckling means to squeeze the bar so hard that your knuckles turn white. This usually gets you one to two more reps on each set at the same weight or 5 to 10kg more on your one repetition maximum attempts. This is also another reason besides possible beheading why I do not like the suicide grip for the bench press. Coming to think of it any form of exercise which has “suicide” in its name probably should be avoided.

No Horse shoeing

I got this tip from Brian Alsruhe who runs an amazing YouTube channel around strength. For all lifts before you exercise them think of bending the barbell like a horseshoe before initiating the lift. This way you ensure to be tight during the lift and can grind out a couple of extra reps or additional weight.

Did not retract my shoulders

You can do the bench press like most people by just lying on the bench like a piece of cabbage. This is especially good for doing studies on chaos theory by trying to predict the bar path during the exercise. Another option is to retract your shoulders and get them tight so that the contraction of the muscles in your shoulder sucks your spine in and up. This will also lead to more control of the bench press motion, which is usually a good thing.

Too much benching in my teenage years

I benched a LOT when I was a teenager. Result? Chicken legs and stretch marks on my chest. Both thumbs down for that one.


The bench press is a great exercise for strength and building your chest. Avoid being lead astray by the fact that the bench press is easy to learn and shows results quick. Of the three powerlifting lifts it is probably the one with the least benefit for you in terms of overall strength and health so plan your workouts accordingly.

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Topics: Lift stronger, Bench Press, Powerlifting, Bench, Bodybuilding