How to perform the Barbell bench press

Bodybuilder barbell benchpress

How to: Barbell bench press

The Barbell bench press should be the staple of your chest workouts. This compound movement engages a large proportion of the chest and is considered a benchmark for upper body strength. The movement has the Pectoral Major, Anterior Deltoid and Triceps Brachii all working in unison.


Target Muscle

Main: Sternal (lower) Pectoralis Major

Synergists: Clavicular (upper) Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, Triceps Brachii



  1. Start off by laying down on a flat bench and positioning yourself under the bar. Make sure your legs are spread apart and your feet are firmly planted on the floor.
  2. Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder width (NOTE: The wider you grip the more the chest will be engaged but it will put more pressure on your shoulders).
  3. De-rack the bar while keeping your wrists straight and your shoulders squeezed together.
  4. Bring the bar down so that it just touches your chest while inhaling and pause for a second.
  5. Return the bar to your starting position but don’t lock your arms out so you still keep tension on the muscle.
  6. I advise repeating the movement 4 times each time increasing the weight with a rep range of 8-12.


Interested in more chest exercises for the gym? Take a look at our workouts page.


VIDEO: How to Barbell bench press