Flat Barbell Bench Press
Primary Muscle Group: Pectorals
Secondary Muscle Group: Triceps, Shoulders
Equipment Needed: Barbell, Weight plates, Flat Weight Bench
The Benefits of Flat Barbell Bench Press
This develops the mass and strength of the pectoral muscles and front deltoids. The flat barbell bench press is a Compound Exercise that builds strength and muscle in the chest and triceps.
You can include the bench press in your chest workouts, upper body workouts, push workouts, and full body workouts.
Some key benefits of the Flat Barbell Bench Press are;
Builds and strengthens the upper body.
Also hits the shoulders, particularly the front heads.
Works your core because it is required to stabilise your position when performing reps.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Flat Barbell Bench Press
Be mindful not to put too much stress on your elbow joint by extending your elbows fully during the pressing part of the exercise. Avoid overloading your chest straight away. If you attempt this exercise with heavy weight without warming up, you put yourself at serious risk of pulling or tearing your pectorals! It’s relatively small muscle so tread carefully and make sure you are fully warm before going into a working set.
How To Do Flat Barbell Bench Press
1. Lie flat on a bench and set your hands just outside of shoulder width.
2. Set your shoulder blades by pinching them together and driving them into the bench.
3. Take a deep breath and allow your spotter to help you with the lift off in order to maintain tightness through your upper back.
4. Let the weight settle and ensure your upper back remains tight after lift off.
5. Inhale and allow the bar to descend slowly by unlocking the elbows.
6. Lower the bar in a straight line to the base of the sternum (breastbone) and touch the chest.
7. Push the bar back up in a straight line by pressing yourself into the bench, driving your feet into the floor for leg drive, and extending the elbows.
8. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
For Perfect Technique
1. Technique first, weight second - no one cares how much you bench if you get injured.
2. Keep the bar in line with your wrist and elbows and ensure it travels in a straight line. In order to keep the wrist straight, try to position the bar as low in the palm as possible while still being able to wrap the thumb.
3. To keep more tension on your chest, stop each repetition just short of lockout at the top.
4. If you are trying to build muscle, avoid arching your back when doing the flat Barbell Chest Press. This is usually done by power lifters as it helps move heavier weight but has less focus on the contraction itself.
5. The bar should touch your chest with every single repetition. If you want to overload specific ranges of motion, look into board presses or accommodating resistance with chains or bands.
Once you have mastered the Flat Barbell Bench Press exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Cable Flys
1. Set both pulleys directly at (or slightly above) shoulder height and select the desired weight.
2. Grasp both handles with a neutral grip and take a step forward to split the stance.
3. Press the handles to lockout while flexing the pecs and extending the elbows.
4. Keep a slight bend in the elbows, move entirely at the shoulder joint, and slowly allow the arms to open while the pecs stretch.
5. Return to the starting position by flexing your pecs and bringing the handles together at chest height.
6. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
How To Use The Pec Deck
1. The pec dec is a great machine for isolating the chest. Before you start, adjust the seat height so that the bottom of the arm pads are about level with your chest when you're sitting on the machine.
2. Select the weight you want to use on the stack.
3. Sit on the machine, grasp the handles and/or place your forearms on the padding. Take the weight off the stack slightly. This is the starting position for the exercise.
4. Keeping your body fixed, slowly bring the forearm pads or handles together. Don't let them touch.
5. Squeeze the chest muscles for a count of 1-3, then slowly lower back to the starting position.