what do you consider proper bench form?


New member
Just want to find out what you consider a "proper" bench press.

In my younger days I would let the bar hit my chest and explode up. After years of this, several personal trainers I spoke to suggested that I only lower the bar until my arms were about parallel to the floor, meaning the bar would be about 2-3 inches from my chest. By going lower, the emphasis would be shifted from the pecs to my shoulders during that portion of the movement - increasing my chances of shoulder injury and decreasing the effectiveness of the exercise.

I'm fine with doing this because I also think that this form shows that you have full control of the weight and can push the weight up without the help of momentum off the chest. However, I hear other people talk shit in the gym when they see people using this form with a lot of weight. They think they are "cheating" - especially if you're one of those guys with stocky type arms or a big barrel body because it appears the arms are barely bending.

If you saw a guy stopping the bar just above the chest with heavy weight, do you think he's "cheating?"
depends on your height and build. for some guys, going parallel is all the way to their chest. for taller guys like me, there is a lot more room to go after parallel. i have always had shoulder problems, so i only go to parallel, sometimes a little bit lower to get a stretch.
I go about an inch under the nipple, squeeze the shoulder blades, arch the back a big, and center the weight over my wrists. I can bench heavy with no back or shoulder problems any more. I'm 6'2" and I touch the chest.
I can't bench heavy without some arch, period, otherwise my shoulders and my back die. I do not lie on the bench like a dead fish, I could never get past 265 with that technique. If you lift your ass off the bench your cheating. I was never gifted on the bench, not only muscle wise but I'm 6'2", with a cycle under my belt and a different technique I'm up to 345.

Dont let your shoulders hang out way to the outside either.

My first post above, should be arch the back a bit, not big.