1- Perform Rotator cuff work prior to the bench press. Shoulder injuries are common, Google or type into Youtube: “rotator cuff warm up”. This one tip will help you immensely to help you prevent, or lessen the chance of a shoulder injury while bench pressing.
2- Position your feet wide, you want as solid base as possible, push those knees out and open up your hips.
3- Squeeze your glutes, this will help keep your lower body as stable as possible.
4- Pull your shoulders back, this will create a slight natural arch in your lower back. You will see a lot of power lifters have a very exaggerated arch. This is because they want to shorten the range of motion therefore allowing them to use more weight. However, I don’t recommend a very exaggerated arch for most people, you will create a natural arch by squeezing your glutes (this will lift your lower back off the bench slightly), as well as pulling your shoulder blades down and back.
5- Hand position- should be approximately a width where once you have pulled the bar down to your chest, your forearms are roughly underneath your hands.
6- Place the bar in the lower part of your palm. Thus, this will help prevent your wrist from cocking back to much therefore, losing a lot of strength and power.
7- Shoulders pulled back and down. (Notice I have stated this twice because it’s crucial).
8- Deep breath- as the bar is lowered towards the nipple line or just below, and then breath out as the bar is pushed up.
9- Try and snap the bar- As your holding the bar, imagine you are trying to break the bar in half this will keep your upper body as tight as possible.
10- Elbows half tucked, not flared but not as tucked as a typical power lifter . Most power lifters will have very exaggerated “tucks” of the elbows (essentially, the elbows are closer to the body as they perform the movement). However, my preference is to be in a half tucked position. Too wide will put too much stress off the shoulders, too narrow and you will place less stress on the pectorals and more stress on the triceps.
11- Imagine you’re trying to push your hands together, this will place more emphasis on the pectorals.
12- Imagine you’re pushing your feet through the floor. Decide whether you are going to place your heels on the floor, or start up on your toes. Try both and see which you feel more comfortable with, then keep that positioned glued to the floor for the entire set.
13- -Don’t shuffle your feet.
14- Keep your head pinned to the bench, don’t be tempted to lift your head off the pad.
15- Don’t bounce the bar off your chest.
16- Speed at the bottom part of the repetition- Be explosive, don’t be shy