Bench Press is one of those lifts we see people doing in the gym everyday with poor or non existing form, some of these problems can be deadly others simply negate the benefit of doing the exercise, so here are a few of the common Bench Press Mistakes.
Using The Thumb-less Grip to Bench Press
The Thumb-less Grip is also known as the suicide grip due to the high number of serious accidents caused by this grip. A thumb-less grip is where the thumb is in the same side of the bar as the fingers rather than curling around the bench press bar in a secure manner.
If a lifter is using the suicide grip to bench press with and the bar happens to rolls or turns during the lift, the thumb is not in a position to prevent the bar from rolling out of the hands, the result of this is the fully loaded bar will fall on your face, neck or chest usually with severe consequences, including death.
Bench Pressing with Bent Wrists
When you grip the bar don’t let your wrists sag back. The bar should remain directly in line with your forearms. Allowing your wrists to sag or bend backwards will lead to wrist injuries.
Bench Pressing with bent wrists also makes the weight harder to press. It puts the bar behind your forearms instead of on top of it. The force you generate with your chest, shoulders and upper-arm muscles can’t go directly into the bar.
Lifting the buttocks off of the bench
It is a natural reaction of the body to assume a more favourable bio-mechanical position when the resistance starts to become too much to handle with strict form. When your Arse lifts of the bench, not only is it not a legal lift in a powerlifting competition, It is also unhealthy for your back, Specifically, the inter-vertebral discs can experience excessive compression when forced into this position. Different degrees of arching the back while the butt is in contact with the bench also has the potential to cause low back issues, but it usually is not as problematic if trained for over time and will produce a bigger bench press.
Bouncing the bar off of the chest
It’s just another form of cheating, it’s counter productive, and it is most certainly dangerous. There is no need to “bounce” in order to take advantage of the stretch reflex effect, a well executed touch and go will achieve the same effect in a controlled safe manner.
The spotter gets a better workout than the bencher
Often seen with any exercise that requires a spotter to lend assistance when the movement can no longer be completed solely by the lifter, but it is most common in bench pressing. There is also no point to doing a set of 10 repetitions when your spotter
has to help with the last 9. Even if the spotter keeps yelling for the entire gym to hear “it’s all you, it’s all you”
Not only are partial reps considered a failed Bench Press in competition, and partial reps do have a purpose in some training programs in the form of board presses or pin press. If all your reps stop a few inches off your chest you are missing out on the portion of the Bench Press where the Pectoral Muscles are working at their hardest, cheating the lifter of hard earned gains.