8 Dumbest Bench Press Mistakes Sabotaging Your Chest Growth! | STOP DOING THESE!

8 Dumbest Bench Press Mistakes Sabotaging Your Chest Growth! | STOP DOING THESE!

Hey, what’s going on Nation? Today We’re going to talk about the eight dumbest mistakes people make that sabotage their chest growth when they bench the first mistake I want to talk about is benching too high and not retracting your shoulder blades and the reason why I’m Combining these two mistakes into one is because a lot [of] the times there one is the result of the other one now What happens when you do the bench press, and you don’t retract your shoulder blades is you end up having a flat back So I’m going to lay back real quick When you have a flat back like this it’s going to change the entire range of [motion] of the barbell as you perform the movement, so Get this off the rack real quick when your back is [flat] What happens to most people is they start to bench over their shoulders like this And they do without even realizing it because it’s going to feel like a natural range of motion so [going] up going down You’re benching over your shoulders now when you bench over your shoulders now, not only do you lose power When doing that but you also run the risk of a shoulder injury [and] really damaging your rotator cuff now If I stay in the same position, but I retract my shoulder blades like this Get a slight arch in my back keep those shoulder blades retracted I can bring the barbell down with the same movement pattern that I just did with my back flat, but as you can see it’s coming down over a totally different point It’s coming down over my chest on every single repetition So because I’m coming now down over my chest. I’m taking my shoulders out of the equation I’m bringing more triceps into the movement And I’m able to fully target my chest on every single Repetition the second mistake people make is that they’re actually bouncing the barbell off their chest at the bottom of the movement now I want to make it very clear here. We’re talking about building muscle. Not powerlifting or strength training Where you might see that being done because it’s a part of that type of training When you’re trying to build muscle you have to Understand that you need to train in the full range of motion and you need to be in control the entire time Especially at the bottom portion which is the sticking point where also where your chest is going to be most stretched position in order to build muscle and to break down muscle tissue [you] need to be able to get as much of a stretch and much of a shortening as possible when doing the [benchpress] So for example now that you guys know you’re supposed to retract your shoulder blades When you get yourself [into] position if you’re bringing the barbell down and you let everything go loose here And you just bounce it up like this you’re missing that bottom portion like I said, so you’re bouncing it up like that. You’re completely Disengaging your chest disengaging your arms for a bit And then [you’re] hitting your chest with the bard and that’s what’s getting you from here to here now If you stay in control the entire time keep everything nice and flexed nice and tight And you bring that barbell down you control it when you get to the bottom of the movement And you stop the bar on your chest and then press up you’re going to have to recruit a lot more muscle fiber to push that bar off your chest, and you’re going to feel it instantly Through your chest when you do that So if you guys are doing the bench press, and you’re trying to use this to build muscle You want to make sure that you go all the way down you hit that sticking point And you push through if your power lifting or strength training you’re trying to increase your 1 rep max Then it’s okay to use techniques like that But only if you’ve trained for them because [obviously] you can seriously injure yourself if you do it wrong The third mistake is something I like to call dancing feet and we see this a lot in the gym [you’ll] see people doing the bench press And then they’re laying down and their feet are going all over the place and they’re going like this and moving around What happens when you have dancing feet syndrome, we’ll call it Is you’re basically taking all [of] the tension out of your lower part of your body So you’re getting rid of all the tension you’ve created in your core And you’re getting rid of that driving force that starts from your feet now there is a difference in how this relates to Powerlifting versus focusing [on] building muscle. We’ll get to that in a second, but you know if you’re a power lifter Especially you need to have a solid stance on the ground because what that’s going to do is allow you When you get back into position like this when you arch your back, and you drive your hips into the bench when you get to the bottom of the movement with the barbell You’re not just bringing it down with your arms, and then pressing it back up with your arms You’re bringing it down, but you’re actually driving through your feet And then driving your hips while you keep your core tight and you’re using this entire motion To press as much weight as possible So the bench press starts from your feet when you’re trying to lift as much weight as you can now When it comes to building muscle The primary focus isn’t lifting as much weight as possible However, you can obviously still choose to keep your feet on [the] ground But you have to keep in mind that if your feet are on the ground and you’re trying to use the bench press as soon as you get into position you get your glutes on the bench your back is arched your shoulders are retracted if You’re bringing the bar back down and you start dancing your feet You just lost all of that extra power that you were Generating with your legs and your core your entire lower body So you’re gonna feel like you’re weaker on that exercise But all that really happened is you lost that core engagement which was helping you drive more drive the bar up harder so you can focus more on lifting weight now if you’re trying to build muscle a lot of people actually Purposely take their feet out of the equation They’ll either bring their feet to the bench like this Or they’ll keep them in the air like that and the reason [why] they do this is because they’re purposely Taking everything out [of] the equation except their upper body so they can primarily focus on just targeting the chest So this is [100%] okay to do you probably won’t be able [to] lift as much Doing it that way because you don’t have that extra driving force but you’re you mentally set yourself up knowing that you’re taking your legs out of the equation as Opposed to having dancing feet and then wondering why you’re weak okay? So there is a clear difference There is a place for having your feet on the ground. There’s a place for having your feet in the air Just make sure you know which one you’re doing and don’t do the dancing feet in between the fourth mistake I want to talk about is doing half reps now half reps can be either skipping the lower portion of the movement or Skipping the lockout portion of the movement and a lot of people say well I’m keeping constant tension on my muscle by doing half reps in the middle Yeah, you are keeping tension on the muscle but You’re out of your mind if you [think] there’s no tension on [your] chest at the top or the bottom portion the movement as well I’m pretty sure you can’t hold the bar for 20 minutes at the top or at the bottom And not feel your chest get activated okay? There’s tension on your chest the entire time you’re doing the exercise However what you need to keep in mind is if you’re training only in that middle area your body is always going to be weakest in the areas You don’t train so for example if you’re skipping the sticking portion of the movement Which is the bottom portion you guys will see a lot of people bring the barbell down to here And then they’ll stop you will always be Weakest from here to here and here to here is Actually helping you stretch your chest out more so you can break [down] more muscle fiber remember to really fully Activate and get as much muscle Damage as possible you need to fully stretch your chest and fully Shorten it in order to get the most amount of contraction so with that being said if you’re doing half reps And you’re doing bullshit like this, and this is your set Number one you’ve skipped the sticking point number two You’re not even shortening your chest as much as you can because you’re not going all the way to the top and what that’s also Going to lead to is you having a [weaker] lockout if you decide to go into more power training or strength training Because your body has not trained in that area of where you actually lock it out each repetition Now do you want to add one [more] thing to this – it has to do with injuries now like I mentioned any Range of motion that you don’t train in is usually where you have weakness So I want you to think [about] this if you start training with half reps, okay? And you’re only going down to like a few inches above your chest, so let’s say for the [next] six months You start out with like 135 pounds, okay? You just started out You’re not that strong And you only go down to here and then you push back [up] to here and you get yourself Strong enough to be able to do like 235 for a set of five reps going from here to here [that] one day when you decide to go all the [way] down to your chest with 235 and then all the way back [up] That will probably be the day that you injure yourself whether it’s you pull a chest you tear a tendon or you hurt your shoulders reason being is because your body has never felt what it was like to handle any sort of weight in that bottom range of Motion so [keep] that in mind when you’re training in the gym the fifth mistake people make is they grab the barbell too wide Now you will read magazines and you will read articles that say Grab the Barbell wide out to have a stronger chest press And that’s true Because what’s happening is the wider you grab the barbell the shorter range of motion the bar has to travel to complete one repetition But that’s only going to work for you if your goal is to lift as much weight as possible [if] you’re trying to build muscle You don’t want to do this because what you’re actually doing is you’re transferring Not only a lot of the weight from the exercise to surrounding areas like your shoulders for example, but you’re also Decreasing the amount that you’re stretching and shortening your chest throughout the movement And I want to show you guys with an example remember shortening and stretching the chest that’s how you get muscle damage That’s how you build muscle. So if you guys were to get a really wide grip on the barbell and perform your repetitions Check it out there’s barely any Shortening happening at the top of the movement you don’t even see my chest Come up that much, okay Because I’m basically just staying in the lower portion of the strech part of my chest the entire time now if I were to get a regular grip and Do the bench press do a bit of a narrow grip you guys are going to see at the top even right now That my chest is pumped up go all the way down my chest is stretched Go all the way to the top you see [a] clear change in my chest And how pumped up it’s getting that’s because I’m shortening the muscle now if I were to spread my arms out You’re going to see my chest deflate because it’s not that that top part of the shortening portion of the movement anymore so this is the difference you’re not getting the full contraction because you’re not getting as Much of a shortening of the muscle when you go up from the bottom position So key thing here guys Remember what you’re trying to do if you go into the gym to be a power lifter Yeah Use a wide grip if you’re going to build muscle wide grip is not going to help you too much The sixth mistake is letting a spotter do all the work for you on your repetitions Now if you’re walking around town everybody you have a 315 pound bench press But your spotter is not around to help you when you’re asked to prove Shit is going to hit the fan pretty quick And you’re going to realize just how weak you are on top of that your spotter is actually Doing something to you that you might not realize they’re stealing your gains away from you if Your spotter comes in when you get stuck in every single time They just pull the bar up for you like this, and it’s pretty clear you guys have seen this happen in the gym You see the spotters who give a little too much help what they’re really doing is it taking away your ability to increase your mind muscle connection and really focus on that muscle damage in the eccentric and the concentric portion of the movement [a] lot of the times when people start to get really tired The spotter will actually kind of hold it for them on the way down and then start the process on the way up Now there is a right and wrong way to spot someone what I typically like to do to people is I like [to] fingertip spot Depending on how many reps they’re going for obviously if it’s a lot of weight I want to get a better grip than a fingertip, but if they’re doing like eight to ten repetitions And you start to get tired by the time you get to seven or eight nine times out of ten you can just step in And kind of fingertip the bar and help them through the movement but you you help only Enough so that the bar stays moving you don’t get in there and do it for them And they follow you on the way up, you’re following them So they’re still able to really focus on getting that mind-muscle connection They’re really focusing on that chest contraction and as they’re pressing the bar There’s still a ton of tension in their chest Because the barbell is still resting in their hands as opposed to resting in yours because you’re pulling it really fast So if your spot is doing this to you And you might not have realized this until now just have a little talk be like hey, bro Take a step back only come in when I say and when you do you only allowed the fingertip the bar looks weird fingertip the bar until I tell you otherwise The seventh mistake people make is that they forget to train their lats Just as hard as they’re training their chest Now you might not realize this but your lats do play a pretty big role in how strong your bench press is going to be Especially at the sticking point of the movement which is the bottom position Believe it or not at the bottom position So the sticking point when you’re on your back and your bars resting on your chest Your lats are going to greatly help you produce the pushing power that you need To get from the here to here and as you start to fully extend your arms your lats become less engaged But a lot of us get stuck at the bottom portion of the movement So if you’re trying to increase your overall lift whether you’re going for a PR Or you’re trying to get more weight for your eight ten repetitions if you get your back stronger you’ll find out quickly that you’re not getting stuck as much at the bottom of the movement you able [to] get to the bottom and Press through and have smoother reps with heavier weight now another way that your lats actually help out is they produce Internal rotation so they help your arms do this and what that basically does When you’re benching is it helps you flair your elbows out as you do the movement So this is more of an advanced technique when benching heavy But you can get more power out of the movement by starting to flair your elbows Once you reach the bottom so your elbows are tucked in you get to the bottom as you press up You’re going to flare your elbows out a bit to drive more power Into the bar, what that’s allowing you to do when you flare your elbows It’s allowing you to bring a bit more triceps into the movement as well Now the eighth and final mistake [actually] [has] to do what we just talked about which is flared Elbows and this even relates to the first mistake that we talked about as well When you use when you do the bench press [you] do not want to have your [elbows] flared the entire time [even] [if] your shoulder blades are retracted and pulled down you have a slight arch in your back if You flare your elbows, and then go down like this you guys can see as I’m sitting here This is proper [benchpress] form if you flare your elbows and come down you start benching over your shoulders And if you don’t already have a rotator cuff issue You can certainly get one and if you’ve had one in the past if you’ve had [a] shoulder injury in the past You’re going to aggravate it on every single repetition [the] only time that you’re allowed to flare elbows is on the way up once you get back to the top portion of the movement You’re going to tuck your [arms] back in and come down and then again only flare them to help you drive the barbell up So I hope you guys enjoyed this video now I know a lot of you guys are going to ask another question in the comment section because we’re talking about the bench press You’re going to ask what’s better for building muscle using the barbell or using the dumbbells? Don’t worry I have you covered I’ll post a link to this video down in the info section below comparing the dumbbell bench press Versus the barbell bench press to answer any question you might have and guys going to have new videos coming every Monday every Wednesday and on the weekends So make sure you add that to your schedule when you’re coming here to check out vids be sure to hit that like and subscribe Button and as always more good stuff coming soon. See you guys

100 thoughts on “8 Dumbest Bench Press Mistakes Sabotaging Your Chest Growth! | STOP DOING THESE!


    There are many bench mistakes that can either lead to an injury, not activating the chest properly for growth, or both. This video will make sure you avoid them all. 😀 You can read the full article here! http://muscularstrength.com/article/eight-Dumbest-Bench-Mistakes-Sabotaging-Your-Chest-Growth


  3. With time-stamps:
    1. Not retracting shoulders – 0:10
    2. Bouncing barbell 1:42
    3. Dancing feet 3:43
    4. Half reps 6:48
    5. Grabbing the barbell too wide 9:47
    6. Letting a spotter do too much work 11:56
    7. Not training lats hard enough 14:13
    8. Flared elbows 15:54

  4. Thanks for your awesome videos and the advice. I would add to myself "not putting gloves on to the grab the barbell".
    Otherwise, my hands are damaged.

  5. Power lifters don't bounce the bar off their chest. Is called a pause set and that's how power lifters practice benching. You mean Body Builders shouldn't bounce it……

  6. Thanks to you i maybe finally can growth up my chest (my "only?" weakness). My mistake is: too large arms spacing when gripping the bar and i don't touch my chest because of flexibility so i go train my flex and go down the weight for the moment. Beside that, i hope than people around the world they go listening our videos, AthleanX,… To learn English and Bodybuilding. Encouragement from Belgium

  7. Hello, if someone aesthetic dude can is reading this I need ur help. So I started trainig at gym , im 1.86cm tall im skinny 60kg and 16years old. So I have ask. How many days I must go to the gym per week and which day I should work out which muscles (for example legs, hands, back) and what food I would need. Thanks so much if someone will help me.

  8. With time-stamps:
    1. Not retracting shoulders – 0:10
    2. Bouncing barbell 1:42
    3. Dancing feet 3:43
    4. Half reps 6:48
    5. Grabbing the barbell too wide 9:47
    6. Letting a spotter do too much work 11:56
    7. Not training lats hard enough 14:13
    8. Flared elbows 15:54

  9. Thank you for showing how to correctly perform exercises. To me it was always a big issue, the biomechanics…

  10. ScottHermanFitness thank you for this video. I bench pressed incorrectly for more than 25 years. My mistake was not retracting shoulders with elbows flared up.
    I’m a natural body builder, 40yrs old 5’8” 210lbs completely ripped and I wouldn’t listened to you 5 months ago.

    However, my shoulder separated and I developed a bone spur on my clavicle. To be honest I went to the doctor just to get the clavicle injected with cortisone as I never noticed any pain from shoulder separation.
    I went to surgery to get the spur removed and to my surprise the doctor also did rotator cuff surgery. The day before surgery I was bench pressing 365lbs , 315lbs , 225lbs etc…

    5 months after surgery I’m bench pressing 115 lbs similar to the proper technique due to shoulder pain movement restriction and this video explains me the why. I will incorporate these learnings to my next chest workout.

    Thanks for all the tips. I have subscribed to your channel and clicked the notification bell.

    Btw. Please excuse my english grammar as it is my second language.

  11. scott i dont have a bench, i do it on the floor is that ok? i do see alot of progress by doing this but just not sure if i must have bench to ensure i get the proper gains.

  12. First off, I would like to say i love your videos and i always try to do things you say right in the gym. But, i am a little confused about the half rep part of this video. If i remember correctly, in the video labeled "How To: Barbell Bench Press", which you uploaded a long time ago, you say " you don't want to bring it down to touch your chest. Because if you go past 90 degrees, the weight transfers from your chest on to your shoulder. You're gonna cause injury.", which i think conflicts with what you say about the half rep mistake.
    i am really keen to know the best and most efficient way to build my muscle to the extent i don't get injuries, and i would like to know which of the videos i should refer to when i do bench press. Would it be possible for you to elaborate on this point a little more?
    Again, thanks for the wonderful videos as always, and i would appreciate if you could answer my question!
    From Japan, Koji.

  13. I'm relatively new to powerlifting, but I've never had "bouncing" reps programmed for me, nor is bouncing is permitted in competition. Is bouncing an actual powerlifting training technique? If so, why?

  14. I wish I knew how to film myself doing the bench press so I could ask you if I was doing it correctly or just being a dumbbell

  15. I was taught you never want to brake the L on your arms because once you brake L you cause inward rotation in your shoulders which leads to Injury

  16. I lost it at 8:14! Lol, "doing bull sh*t like this….." Sounds like me trying to train my brother. I lose my temper when people do dumb ass moves like that while lifting.

  17. Most people would rather abuse the bench press… rather than master it… And they would rather feed their ego… gyms are full of people like that.

  18. Powerlifters train with paused reps to idk why he went on about "train like a powerlifter" I have never heard a power lifting coach say make sure to bounce the bar off your chest. In fact using the bounce technic at the bottom of a bench is not even very useful to us powerlifters becouse in comp they make us pause at the bottom before they give the press comand.

  19. Thank you so much, I'm 14 and I'm trying to get stronger and fitter. Thanks for the tips so I don't hurt myself during my workouts 😎👊mad respect

  20. Wow man, #7 is so obvious that I can’t believe I didn’t realize the role the lats play at the bottom of the bench press. Thanks!

  21. I wish my spotter would do something to me………..haha. Actually, thanks for showing all the dumb dangerous things that I see every day

  22. @Scott "Bahbell" Herman I have a question for you…
    – My arms are longer than my overall height for about 10cm so most of the time i need to grip the bar wider than other people in order to feel pressure in my chest, if i grip the bar around shoulder-wide I actually feel pressure in my Triceps and Shoulders is there any way to fix this seemingly bad position ?

  23. Some people integrate powerlifting bench press in with her bodybuilding like Arnold Schwarzenegger used to… then that becomes more of an ego lift than anything… I do not subscribe to that theory… bodybuilding is not weight lifting!

  24. Barbell bench press is a mid-range exercise… which means that resistance is less at the bottom and at the top of the movement…. that means you're the weakest at the origin and the insertion of the pectoralis muscle… you have to establish your controlled range of motion… in order to do controlled repetitions…. The bench press does not give complete development you have to do flies and Cable Crossovers! Most people get very little chest development using a barbell bench press.

  25. I'm guessing most viewers won't implement the elbow flare correctly. My advice is (not that anyone asked): don't flare, keep the elbows tucked for acromion health, keep shoulder blades pulled in for stability, and keep lats engaged. (Obviously the core and legs, too; the whole kinetic chain should be tight.)

  26. Great, informative video with so many key points. I need to keep coming back to it for reference especially on my chest days. Thanks Scott.

  27. Dude I just wanted to say it's insane how much progress I've made since I found your videos. I didn't entirely know what I was doing and hit an awful plateau, but I've blown way past it since applying some of your advice. Thank you.

  28. Je ne comprends pas pourquoi il y a tant de pouce en bas ! ce vidéo est excellent. Merci Scott you are always helpfull.

  29. Stop talking about accent. It's disgusting. Tout le monde a un accent et aucun n'est mieux ou pire qu'un autre. quand vous aurez ses connaissances et aurez le courage de faire ce qu'il fait vous reviendrez parler de son accent. Merci Scott pour tes vidéos et ne lis pas les commentaires sur ton accent.

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