Using either a power rack (full rack or half rack) or an Olympic bench press bench, position an empty bar at a height that allows a short 1-3 inch lift-off out of the bar holders. Bar position in the rack is important, you should never have to raise up, taking your upper back off the bench to get the bar off the rack, nor should you have to press out a rep to unrack a bar racked too low.
Position your bench under the bar so that when you lay on the bench your eyes are directly beneath the bar.
Lay on the bench with a natural arch in your back and your feet flat on the floor.
Grip the bar at shoulder width to slightly wider with your thumbs around the bar.
With a spotter’s assistance, lift the bar out of the rack and hold it locked out directly over your middle to lower chest region.
Inhale deeply and hold your breath as you lower the bar down to your lower chest region, at or beneath the nipple line.
Using the muscles of your chest, shoulders and triceps press the weight vertically with maximum force to the locked out position above your middle to lower chest.
Keep your core musculature tight, pushing through your feet up through your hands as you complete a rep.
Exhale after the bar travels through your sticking point at the top of the rep.
Do not excessively arch your back during this lift. Keep a tight natural arch in your back maintaining a rigid core throughout the exercise. Your lower back shouldn't be touching the bench.
Hold your breath, so to create a tight core (increased intra-abdominal pressure) until you proceed through the sticking point and then exhale. Exhaling too early causes a loss in core stability.
Push the Play button to watch the video. You can pause the video to study the notes and technique.
Produced by Master Strength & Conditioning Coach, Greg Werner from James Madison University
Athlete in the video is Strength & Conditioning Assistant, Nicholas Gounaris, spotted by Senior Assistant, Christian Carter