Bench Press Exercise, Workouts, Routines with Dumbbell & Free Weights

Bench Press - The Best Chest Muscle Builder

Bench Press is the best Chest Muscle Building exercise. Check how to do Barbell and dumbbell chest press, Incline/ decline bench press with Smith Machine. And check out how to perform bench press safely.

These Chest Exercises should be the center of all your Chest Workouts and add other Exercises as and when you need variety to your workouts.

Bench Press Tips - How to do Correct/Proper bench press - Techniques and Form Tips

A Deep, well-shaped Chest is the center of a complete physique and nothing comes close to Bench Press to achieve this purpose.

Bench press can be performed with Barbell or Dumbbell. By using dumbbells you can work the chest muscles through a greater range of motion.

Purpose -- To Build Muscle Mass in the Chest { Also works on front deltoids and triceps}

The Bench Press is the fundamental exercise for the upper body and should be a part of any exercise regimen. It remains the best Chest Muscle Building Exercise. It builds chest muscle mass, gives shape and helps in overall chest development.

Execution Technique.

You can use either a Machine or Free weights to perform Chest Press. Free Weights are undoubtedly the best way.

Grips-- Hands are positioned slightly wider than shoulder width.  A wide grip primarily targets the outer chest and narrow grip helps inner chest development.



1. Lie flat on the bench keeping your feet on floor for better balance.

2. Lift the bar off the rack and hold it at arms length above you.

3. Now lower the bar under controlled motion until it touches above the chest{ around the nipple area}.

4. Now raise it until your arms are nearly locked out.

Points to remember

  • Remember exert while you exert.
  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements
  • Do not bounce the weights off the chest
  • Avoid arching of back as much as possible
  • For heavy weights use a spotter.

How to make bench press absolutely safe

Always safety first. Never compromise.

1. Take a medium grip. Although a wide-grip makes the lift easier as the bar has to travel less distance, it can be tough on wrists.

2. Lower the bar to mid-chest as it makes the exercises highly effective in pectoral stimulation. Any higher might result in shoulder joint stress, although experienced lifters with good shoulder strength can do upper chest workouts.

3. Keep back and hips on the bench at all times. Lifting hips results in low back stress.

4. Maintain wrists vertical. Hyperextended wrists can result in wrist joint damage.

5. Avoid a thumbless grip - Although novice trainers may find the thumbless grip easier in bench press, it is risky as the bar can roll away from your fingers and cause serious injury. Work on wrist flexibility if you have grip problems.

6. Chest first, triceps next - Always perform the Chest Exercises before you perform triceps. This sequence is very important because if you do triceps before chest, the triceps will fail before chest and you cannot lift heavier in Bench press thus not stimulating chest enough.

Variations of Barbell Bench Press

1. Incline Bench Press

Incline bench press is done on an adjustable bench set to about 30 degrees angle.

Lower the bar to your upper chest and use all tips mentioned in the regular bench press exercise.

2.  Decline Bench Press

In this version, lower the bar to lower chest area and pause for a second at the bottom movement before pushing it back to the starting position.

3. Close grip bench press

The close grip version allows you to work more on your triceps. Its considered best exercise for triceps more than chest muscles.

4. Reverse grip bench press

Some research studies suggest that reverse grip bench press activates the upper chest muscles more than regular grip.

In this exercise start with an underhand grip, hands placed shoulder width apart.

5. Barbell floor press

I have covered dumbbell/kettlebell floor presses elsewhere.

In this version, lie on the floor instead of a bench and do regular bench press.

This can be done at home but needs a partner who can lift the weight off for you for the first repetition.

Also the short range of motion targets the chest muscles less.

6. Dumbbell bench Press

The dumbbell version can be done on a bench, on the floor or even stability ball for core stability. Try it, you will love it.

More Chest Exercises Recommends

Blast your Bench Program by Lee Hayward

Click here to read more about Blast Your Bench Program


Common Bench Press Questions

1. How much should I be able to bench press?

There is no set answer to this. Most people will say a person should be able to bench 1x to 1 ½x their body weight but you assuredly should not start out this way. Start out with the easiest weight you can handle and then work your way up from there over time.

2. Where can I find bench press chart?

There are tons of them on the internet and they all need to be taken with a grain of salt. Here is a good one to check out:

3. Bench press calculator?

Why go through the trouble of trying to figure out a chart when a decent bend press calculator can do it for you. Check this one out:

4. Bench press world record?

Ryan Kennelly holds the world record for a bench press at an astounding 1,074lbs. 20 years ago 750lbs was considered an outright impossibility. Times change! Find more Bench Press Records.

5. What should be my average bench press?

This will be determined by you age, weight, and current fitness level. Don't try to seek any averages. Do what you can and make lifting your own body weight amount be the goal to shoot for over time.

6. Should girls bench press OR is it ok for girls to bench press?

Girls should bench press but their goals will be different than most men. Basically, women should stick with a moderate amount of weight and concentrate on incline bench presses.

7. How much does Arnold Schwarzenegger bench press?

In his prime, the Austrian Oak was purported to have been able to max out in the 500lb range. Remember, he was a bodybuilder and not a powerlifter so max weight and strength was not his prime concern either.

8. How to do close grip bench press?

A close grip bench press is intended to work the triceps. The positioning of the grip entails the hands held narrow and touching one another as opposed to being shoulder length apart.

9. How much does Hulk Hogan bench press?

In his heyday, Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) was known to bench in the 400lb range.

10. Should Seniors bench press?

Seniors should consult a trainer and physician to discuss whether or not this is appropriate for them. That said, tons of seniors do perform bench press workouts regularly.

11. For every pound of lean gain how much bench press?

This depends on your age, fitness, weight, and current strength levels. There is no uniform answer since all people are different.

12. How can I increase bench press? What is the Best Workout?

The way to increase a bench press would be to slowly and responsibly increase the weight load slightly as your strength increases. Never rush it or you are asking for trouble. There is no uniform best workout. You need to experiment with the many different available workout plans to arrive at the most effective one for your goals.

13. How to treat bench press injuries?

Bench Press Injuries can be a problem but treatment depends on the type of injury are we talking about? Many will treat their minor injuries with rest. Serious injuries will require surgery. The only way to really know which is appropriate for your condition would be to undergo an examination with a qualified physician. Don't diagnose yourself!

14. How to do reverse grip bench press?

The physical movement is the same as a traditional bench press with the difference being it is performed but the palms face towards the face instead of toward the feet. This version of the bench press is more of a triceps workout and not so much a chest one.

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