Bench press exercise


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Bench Press Exercise

One of the best Upper Body Exercises. It Works the Pectoralis Major and the Pectoralis Minor as well as your Shoulders and Triceps

Welcome to our Bench Press Exercise Exercise Instruction Guide! 

On this page you’ll learn how to bench press using the correct technique. Below you’ll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Weight Training Exercises so you can immediately add to your Weight Training Programs and next Chest Workout.

Have you seen our Best Chest Exercises list yet? See what other chest exercises made the cut! 

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name: Bench Press Exercise
Main Muscle: Chest
Secondary Muscle(s): Deltoids, Triceps
Exercise Type: Compound, Push
Equipment Required: Barbell, Flat Bench

Exercise Description and Instruction:

The Bench Press Exercise or “Chest Press” is a compound upper body exercise that targets the pectoralis minor as well as the pectoralis major and also hits the triceps and deltoids. This lift should be a staple in most weight training programs.

Also make sure to view Decline Bench Press as well as Incline Bench Press. You’ll benefit from switching up your workout routines and hitting your chest from different angles. Also check out Dumbbell Bench Press, which is one of our most popular exercises and is beneficial for beginners as well as seasoned lifters. 

To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor.
  2. Grasp the bar with a pronated grip (palms facing forward) so that your hands are shoulder width apart or slightly wider.
  3. Lift the barbell from the rack and hold it with your arms locked and fully extended. This will be your starting position.
  4. Inhale and slowly lower the barbell to the middle of your chest.
  5. Pause for a brief moment, then exhale and press the bar upwards to the starting position by extending your arms and using your chest muscles. Tip:Squeeze your chest in the contracted position.
  6. Once back in the starting position with your arms fully extended, pause for a moment then again slowly lower the weight to your middle chest.
  7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  1. Use a spotter during this chest exercise if it is new to you or your are using more weight than your are comfortable with. If no spotter is available, be very conservative with the amount of weight you choose.
  2. Lower the weight in a slow and controlled motion. Do not bounce the weight off your chest.
  3. Keep your abs drawn in and your shoulders and back flat on the bench and your feet firmly planted on the floor throughout this exercise.
  4. The width of your hand base determines what muscles are emphasized. A wider grip works the outer portion of your chest whereas a narrow grip focuses on your triceps.

Other Popular Upper Body Exercises:

Check out some of our other popular Arm Exercises and Variations:

  • Close Grip Bench Press
  • Bent Over Row
  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Chin Ups and Pull Ups
  • Triceps Extension

Now that you’ve seen Bench Press Exercise, which primarily targets your pectorals, check out all of our different Chest Exercises. 

Or, check out these other pages of interest:

  • Weight Training Exercises
  • Chest Exercises Main Page and Best Chest Exercises List
  • Muscle Building Workouts
  • Fat Loss Workouts 

You’ve seen the Chest Exercises. Now access the Workout Routines. 
Start at our Home Page.

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