Basic guide to getting started in press banking
The bench press is one of the most complete exercises for developing arms and pecs. If you want a stronger and more powerful musculature, take note of the keys to getting started in the press bench in an efficient and safe way.
There are different modalities of this exercise but, normally, the press bench consists of lifting a bar, with or without weight discs, having as a support point the traditional training bench. It requires some physical preparation, especially if you don’t know how much weight to lift in the gym, and a good command of the technique that allows you to safely lift the bar avoiding injuries. How to get properly positioned or how to properly lift your weight are some of the essential things we present in this guide to get you started with press banking.
The relevance of the initial position in press banking
Sitting on top of the bank, well positioned, is a prerequisite for doing your first press banking. There are many essential details to consider, from the grip to the placement of the legs. Don’t be hasty. Only when you are perfectly in place should you remove the bar from its holder. Look singularly at:
- Feet well supported. Lie down and put each of your legs to the side of the bench. The plants must be in absolute contact with the soil.
- Buttocks glued to the bench. It is essential to maintain contact between the buttocks and the support surface at all times. They must be tense, contracted and attached to the bank.
- Scapules retracted. Your shoulder blades should”pull back” and”pull down” to seek maximum grip on the surface you are on. To achieve the proper starting situation you must do a scapular retraction, that is, try to join your shoulder blades together.
- Grip closed. To start bench pressing it is essential to know that you must hold the bar tightly and securely and that the grip must always and at all times be closed. The thumb must absolutely surround the bar. With regard to the distance between the two hands, choose one that is comfortable for you and that more or less coincides with the distance between your shoulders.
How to execute the first banking presses: step by step
For a safe lifting, even before you take the bar from its support you must do a”check” of your position: one leg on each side of the bench, with the feet well supported, buttocks contracted, scapulas retracted and straight neck but without tension.
Once prepared, the time comes to hold the bar firmly, take it out of its holder and bring it closer to your chest. If you are starting to press bench, you should make this first descent move by”drawing” a”J” with the bar.
Now you have the bar close to your chest (without supporting it) and now you have to raise it. Do the”J” movement again but this time in reverse, stretching your arms until the bar is above your head, at the level of your eyes. When you raise the bar, don’t forget to make two important moves:
- Keep your legs steady, stomping hard with the soles and heels of your feet, just as if you were pushing the ground, is what is known as Leg Drive.
- Do not peel your buttocks off the bench and carry your shoulders back and forth (rotation). This way, your back will arch slightly, bringing your chest closer to the bar and protecting your lower back.
- At the end of the lift, the elbows must be locked and the wrists must be firm enough to avoid any accident.
Series and sessions to get you started in press banking
During the first press-bench sessions, practice posture and movement only with the bar, without the added weight. Once you have mastered the basic technique, you can establish your training plan that determines the number of sets, repetitions and breaks of the exercise according to your objectives.
If your goal is to increase strength it is convenient to start with long series, five ? eight, more than a few repetitions, two? five, keeping in mind that you should rest at least two minutes between series. Only when your muscles get used to the care and attention that press-banking implies will you be able to propose to increase its intensity.