How To Flat Barbell Bench Press

YouTube Exercise Video

How To Flat Barbell Bench Press

The bench press is one of the most classic, and admittedly cliché exercises people associate with gyms and body building. There’s a reason for this – it’s an effective demonstration of progress, and provides a work out for compound muscle groups including pectorals, biceps and upper back. The primary focus, though, is actually the chest/pectorals, as opposed to the biceps most assume. 

This is a dangerous exercise to perform if not experienced enough. If done improperly or carelessly, this can result in severe, even fatal injuries. That said, we’re going to look at how to do this safely and properly. 

What You Need 

You need a bench with a mounting rack, and a large barbell, reasonably-weighted. You should use gloves for a safe grip. You also need a spotter, under any and all circumstances. This is no joke – this can be dangerous. Accidents can happen, fatigue can come from nowhere, and without someone to get you out of a pinch, you could be trapped for hours, injured, or even lose your life in some cases. 

Flat Barbell Bench Press Muscles Worked


  • Lie flat on your back on the bench, feet planted firmly on the ground, underneath the barbell. 
  • Grip the barbell, palms facing upward/outward, about half again shoulder length apart. Most barbells for bench pressing and deadlifting will have obvious grips and markers for the hand positions. 
  • Lift the barbell off the rack, lowering it (bending at the elbows) until the bar crosses your sternum. DO NOT allow your chest to support any of the weight if possible to avoid so. 
  • Bending at the elbow and then shoulders, lift the barbell completely upward. Hold this for a second or so – less if it’s too taxing. 
  • Slowly lower it back down across your chest and repeat. DO NOT let gravity play a role in lowering it! 


As we said, this is a dangerous exercise to do alone, so always, always have a spotter. It doesn’t matter if you see professionals doing this alone – do as they say, not as they do. If you have any physical ailments whatsoever, consult your doctor before trying this exercise. 

Don’t over do the weight, work yourself into higher weights. 

If you’d like to learn more about these and other exercises, and the safe way to perform them, subscribe to our YouTube channel today!

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