Bench Press - Buying Guide

The bench press is undoubtedly one of the most important and popular basic exercises for the entire upper body. Every gym has athletes doing the chest exercise, but bench press is not just an exercise for the chest muscles - triceps, shoulders, and back are involved in this complex movement. A good bench press will be a core piece of equipment for your home gym workouts.

How to perform bench press correctly?

Position Yourself Correctly

The extended line between the shoulders and the beginning of the lumbar spine should rest on the bench. The head lies flat on the bench, the eyes fix the pole. For the right grip position, embrace the bar approximately shoulder-wide. The hinges are held straight and the barbell bar is enclosed with a very firm grip.

It is important to fix the shoulder blades at the same time and to keep the entire middle of the body firm and stable.

Press the rod out of the rack

If the preparation is correct, start the execution. Look straight to the ceiling and push the pole up along the brackets until your elbow joints are stretched out. Move the rod exactly over your shoulder joints. If you still feel insecure, someone from the gym can provide assistance.


Breathe deeply in and out against the closed larynx. This "compressed breathing" ensures a stable chest and, thus, for a better power transmission when pressing. In addition, an air-filled rib cage is larger than one without air, which shortens the distance the bar must travel to the chest.


Now bend the elbows and lower the bar in a controlled way to the chest. To get maximum benefit from the lift it is important to go down far enough to be deemed a 'full range of motion'. For many, the bar doesn't have to touch the chest. There are several opinons our there as to what constitues a full range of motion, so do your research before hand.

Press up

If you are touching the bar on your chest, it should only be very light. Just imagine that it would only touch your T-shirt and not the chest itself. As soon as that happens, push the bar up again. If your gaze has not slipped, it lands back in its correct starting position over the shoulder joints.

The art is to use the bench press of the so-called "stretch reflex", without this leading to a cushioning of the bar from the chest. The stretch reflex ensures that a muscle that is stretched under load can apply a lot of force during the subsequent contraction.

Lower the bar into the rack

Also the last repetition ends with stretched arms and the rod over the shoulder joints. Only when this position is reached, the rod is placed in the rack. It should first make contact with the shanks of the brackets. Only then are the elbows bent and the bar lowered. It is not advisable to turn your head and watch it.

Different types of exercise

There are several variants of bench press.

First, the bench press can also be done with dumbbells. Bench Press is a classic barbell exercise,but also dumbbells or kettlebells can be used for more variety in training.

There is also the option of either inclining the bank positively (incline bench press) or tilt it negatively (negative bench press).

Incline presses are popular because many athletes believe that with this exercise they can focus on training the upper part of the chest. The angle of body is increased during the exercise,the shoulder height is slightly above the pelvic level, which is why the focus is more on the "upper" chest and the shoulder muscles.

There is big difference is how you hold the rod.

With the wide grip, you move your hands much farther apart than in the standard version, while the upper arm-trunk angle remains the same. This reduces the flexion of the elbow joint during exercise, so the triceps is less involved and the main pectoral muscle is the major one.

At the same time, the radius of movement of the upper arm is limited in comparison to the standard bench press by the rod, which is already placed on the chest at a relatively blunt elbow angle. Because of this and because the strong chest muscle does most of the work, you can move heavier weights on wide bench presses. The entire setting and execution correspond to the normal bench press.

With a tight grip the hands move together. As a result, the elbow joints must be greatly bent to lower the rod to the chest - and accordingly strong force is then pushed out of the triceps.

What equipment do I need for bench press?

As the name implies, you need a weight bench for bench press next to a barbell bar equipped with discs. Although it is also possible to lie down directly on the floor and push up the dumbbell from there, this early form of bench press is barely practiced.

Most of the weight bench is fixed to a height-adjustable bracket for barbell connected to a unit. If the bench is in a so-called "Power Rack", a rack in which you can do various barbell exercises, it is free to move freely in the room and must be properly positioned before the start of practice.

Barbell and weight bench, this is the equipment you need for bench press. Depending on the level of training and personal taste, other things can be used such as a weight-lifting belt, chalk for the hands, wrist bandages or a headrest.

Top Picks

Armortech BP002 Bench Press + 35kg Barbell Set

The Armortech Bench Press and weights kit is the perfect option for entry level strength and weight training.

With the ability to be adjusted to two incline levels, and the capability of performing exercises such as Bench Press, Flyes, Leg extensions, and Preacher Bicep Curls, this bench offers a solid foundation for basic weight lifting principles.

Premium quality padding seats and double stitch upholstery make training with this bench both safe and comfortable.

Features and Specifications:

  • 35kg in Weight included
  • Incline and Flat Levels
  • Reinforced construction
  • Premium quality upholstery
  • Preacher Pad Included
  • Leg Extensions Included
  • 100kg Weight Rated

Armortech Mid Bench Press 210

The Amortech 210 Bench Press has an extra wide rack that can take loads of up to 150kg, some pretty heavy bench pressing. 

Features and Specifications:

  • Multi-level weight bench
  • Preacher Curl Pad & Bar
  • Inbuilt leg extensions (quads)
  • Inbuilt let extensions (hamstrings)
  • Heavy-duty full padding
  • Safety locks
  • Premium quality