News & Events

Strength Wednesday’s: Barbell Bench Press


Fitness on 25th

By Fred Smith, YWCA Fitness on 25th Personal Trainer

The barbell bench press is one of my favorite exercises and ways to work my chest. The bench press also works your shoulders and arms. It’s a great way to build upper body strength and a great exercise to include in a well-balanced workout.

There are many variations and platforms to perform this exercise. For example, you can play with the distance of your over hand grip by holding the bar wide, regular or narrow. There are also a variety of benches that can be utilized like the incline, decline and regular flat bench.

Today, I am going to go over a regular grip flat bench press.

Set up and movement:

  • Lie flat on the regular bench press with your shoulders directly under the bar and make sure your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Grip the bar with an over hand grip 2 to 3 inches wider than your shoulders
  • Lift the bar off the uprights and position it above the middle of your chest
  • Bend your arms and start lowering the bar
  • Your elbows should be pointed outward
  • When the bar meets your chest, push it back to the starting position


  • Keep your back flat on the bench
  • The path of the bar should always be over the chest. This will help isolate the chest muscles and alleviate any unneeded stress on the shoulders
  • Do not lock out your elbow at any time.

I like to take a moment before a set and think about what I am about to do. It seems to organize my thoughts and I am able to visualize myself performing the exercise.

As personal trainers, our objective is to help you to efficiently and safely reach your health and wellness goals. Personal training provides individualized programming, designed for you. If you would like more information on how personal training can benefit you, talk to myself, another one of our trainers and YWCA Fitness on 25th staff about how we can help you.