King of chest lifts-Bench Press-Method

As I look back into my experiences in a variety of gyms over the years there is one lift that sticks out that separates the men from the boys, the bench press. If you were wanting to impress other gym goers and earn instant respect, you would throw a bunch of weight on the bar and go to work and the respect was instantly earned.

In my younger years up through college I preferred to use a wider powerlifting grip. As a result I have experienced shoulder pain and actually walked away from bench press for a short time mainly relying on dumbbell work.

A few months ago one of my college teammates came into town and we hit a few workouts together. He wanted to bench so I went along with his routine. He looked at my form and asked me if I was having any shoulder issues with bench and of course I had. He told me he had noticed that I lost size in my chest and triceps and connected it to the fact that I had not been bench pressing.

He too had experienced shoulder pain with his wide grip of bench and had to adjust. The advice he gave me, the same advice I recently read in an article by Jim Stoppani, move your arms in and tuck your elbows closer to your side. This adjustment takes the pressure off your shoulders and moves it into your triceps and chest. Jim said to pretend that you are trying to hold two grapefruits in your armpits while you bench.

I took my friends advice and have been benching faithfully and low and behold, my chest and triceps are steadily growing.

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