- Lie on a bench with a bar rack, feet on the floor.
- Position yourself so that the barbell is over your eyes, not over your chest. This is so that you do not hit the rack when you begin the exercise.
- Grab the barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. The barbell may have markings on it which will help you grab the bar evenly.
- Maintaining core strength, and without arching your back, lift the barbell off of the rack and hold it steady over your chest before you lower the bar.
- Slowly lower the bar to the chest (nipple line), without bouncing it off the chest. Elbows are wide, 90 degrees.
- Exhale as you press the bar back up to start position and repeat.
Do not arch your back when lowering or lifting the bar. When it is time to return the barbell to the rack, note that you must move it slightly back to fit it into the rack. Always use a spotter for barbell bench press.
Variation: Once you’ve mastered this, try the incline barbell bench press.