1. The perfect bench press rep starts without any weight on the bar. Why no weight? The first thing you need to do is determine your proper hand spacing on the bar.
2. Now that you have your grip properly positioned, put some weight on the bar. Lay back on the bench and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Your knees should bent at about an 80 degree angle (I will explain the reason for this later - this tip has an accompanying picture). DO NOT place your feet up on the bench. You will lose stability and potential power by doing this.
- At the start, the hands are placed on the back of the bar rather than the bottom of the bar.
- Before you begin the rep, rotate the bar so that your hands are under the bar.
- This movement "locks" in the shoulder joints, placing them in a more stable position.
3. Remove the bar from the racks and tighten up the muscles of your torso. Begin lowering the bar under complete control to a point at the bottom of your sternum (about even with the bottom of your sternum, a.k.a. the breastbone). Imagine as though your muscles are springs storing up all the energy of the weight lowering and getting ready to explode it all back out. Inhale as you lower the bar and feel it tightening up your chest.
4. As you start to change the direction of the bar and begin the press up, drive with the legs. This is a technique that most trainers do not know about. It's strange to think about it but your leg power can actually help you bench press more weight!
5. Exhale forcefully through pursed lips as you continue to push the weight up. This will help maintain your torso stability better than simply exhaling all at once.
6. Power the weight up to lockout. You have just completed the perfect rep! Now do it again!!