The Bench Press is the most popular muscular strength (as opposed to muscular endurance) compound exercise, that a lot of bodybuilders and powerlifters focus on to build muscle mass and chest strength. It is a great exercise for your chest and also works your, triceps, shoulders and even your back.

  • Barbell
  • Compound

The Bench Press can be performed with either a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. With this exercise it is common to try and lift as heavy as possible, however, be wary as it’s easy to injury yourself when doing this, you could tear your rotator cuff or a tendon.

Similar Exercises to Try

Equipment Required

Muscles Worked

Anterior (Front)

  • Deltoid (Front & Back)
  • Pectoralis Major

Posterior (Back)

  • Triceps Brachii

How to Do a Bench Press

Fitness model performing a bench press
  1. Start with warm-up weight.
  2. Grip the barbell with an overhand grip, wrap your thumbs around for extra security. Have your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Lay on a bench or step, bend your knees ninety degrees have your feet flat on the floor.
  4. Extend your arms holding the barbell over your chest. Don’t hold the bar above your face, in case it drops.
  5. Bring the bar down slowly, until your elbows are about ninety degrees.
  6. For a full range of motion lower the barbell, so it touches your chest.
  7. Extend your arms and push through your feet to bring the bar back up. Try to keep your back flat against the bench and avoid overextending it.