CrossFit Bench Press Tips
As far as CrossFit goes when it initially hit the national consciousness it was know as the “Anti” Bro Gym. With this in mind any movement that made people think “Big Box Gym” was minorly demonized. From curls and tricep pressdowns to calf raises and delt raises it was all thrown out for being not “functional”. The most famous of the ostracized movements was the Bench Press. While it was not thrown out entirely (Linda Wod) it was minimized in programming in comparison to overhead pressing variations.
In regards to our facility most of our more traveled members always remark that we bench press in programming more than any CrossFit they have been to. I am a firm believer that the Bench Press is a staple in well rounded strength program. We like to program a 2:1 pull to push frequency in our programming so you also see quite a few rowing variations as well.
So with that in mind here are some basic tips to help you get that Bench Press moving in the right direction.
Keep chest up and shoulders retracted throughout the lift
Position yourself with your eyes under the bar
Plant the upper back and head hard into the bench
Plant feet flat on the ground, heels dug in
White Knuckle the bar with a strong grip, evenly spaced
Inhale, lift the bar off the racks and bring it over your chest with arms straight
Exhale if necessary, inhale again and lift the chest even higher
Lower the bar under control to the chest, nipple level
Keep the elbows under the bar and the upper arms tucked in
Keep wrists relatively straight; they may bend back slightly
Lift the chest to meet the bar
Pause the bar on the chest, stay very tight and keep the bar motionless
Drive the bar off the chest using your chest and lats
Begin to flare your elbows slightly just before the sticking point
If desired, roll your wrists slightly forward just before the sticking point
Press the bar up and back so it finishes above the upper chest
Press the bar evenly until the arms are locked straight
Rack the bars with arms straight upon completion of the lift
I hope these tips are helpful. They are relatively basic but if just one tip fills a technical void you will be surprised how small hinges swing big doors !