How To Bench Press: A Quick Fire Guide For Ladies
Oct 8th, 2019 - 5 min read
It’s no secret that the boys are all about chest day, as a result, the bench press features very predominately in their workouts.
As women, we tend to focus more on lower body workouts. Yet we see a large portion of men skipping leg day.
This is no coincidence, it is a fact of life. Men are naturally stronger in their upper body and women are naturally stronger in their lower body.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t work on your upper body. In fact; we encourage it. That’s why we created the boobs & biceps workout category among others.
But we can’t help but notice that women in general are more comfortable on the squat rack than they are on the bench press.
It got me thinking; is it because women don’t fully understand and appreciate the benefits of a good chest workout. Or is it simply because the bench press is unfamiliar territory?
Whatever the reason; I’d love to see more women bench pressing, so let’s break it down…
Benefits of the bench press
Think of the bench press as a squat rack for your boobs.
There’s a reason most gravitate towards the squat rack in the gym; because it’s the fastest muscle builder in the room.
And the reason men gravitate towards the bench press is because it is the fastest chest builder in the room.
Because the bench press will allow you to load the lift until your heart (and boobs) are content. Like the squat rack; the bench press will support you in managing heavy loads that would otherwise be impossible to get into position.
Why your boobs deserve a workout too
Behind your breast tissue sits your pectoral muscle, and this muscle deserves your attention for a couple of reasons:
Not only will you build a stronger chest, which will in turn support your strength in other lifts. You will also build a strong and firm base for your breast tissue to sit on.
As a result; you can achieve a natural looking breast lift as well as potentially filling out the top part of your chest with some protruding pectoral muscle.
Side note; incline chest exercises will place additional emphasis on the upper part of your pectoral muscles.
Related: Chest exercises to boost your boobs.
How to bench press with correct form
Start with a standard unloaded bar first; this weighs 45lbs/20kg’s.
If you don’t feel comfortable with that weight, bench press on a flat bench with a lighter fixed barbell, just until you build the strength to go heavier.
Let’s break the lift down into steps:
1. To begin the bench press; lay your back flat on the bench with the racked bar at eye level.
2. Press your shoulders back into the bench to stabilise your upper body. Arch your back slightly if you wish.
3. Grip the bar at around shoulder width apart. Use the knurling ‘notches’ on the bar to balance your grip. Also be sure to grip your thumbs around the bar so that it doesn’t slip.
4. Un-rack the bar and bring it up in fully extended arms directly over your chest. This is your start position.
5. Next; lower the bar down towards your chest, keeping it level with your nipple line. At the bottom, the bar should lightly touch your chest, before you press back up to start position.
6. Pause for second at the top, brace yourself, and go again for reps.
A side note about arching your back
If you want to arch your back slightly on your bench press; do. This will help you to move more overall weight which is an excellent confidence builder.
The important thing to note is that when you arch your back, you shift more of the load onto your shoulders, and as a result, you take it off your chest. Not completely, but enough to consider this counterproductive as a chest exercise.
The reason I wanted to mention it is because Lipstick Lifters covers all bases of weightlifting. And an arched back is not uncommon amongst powerlifters. It is a legit technique used to help powerlifters move more overall weight. So while it may not be an ideal chest builder; - from the powerlifters perspective, it does what is needed; - moves as much weight as possible.
Bench press summary
Above all else, I want you to know that the bench press is a power move. It will work your chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps and core for stability.
The bench press is your fastest overall upper body strength builder, and it can be loaded more than any other chest exercise.
Finally; always use the safety bars and a spotter if you have the luxury. Never un-rack a load you are not confident with if you don't have a spotter on standby.