Bench press is one of the best compound exercises. It involves and thus improves multiples muscles including chest, shoulders and others. It is a popular exercise among amateurs as well as professionals.
Bench press is said to be the most dangerous lift exercises. Since you have to lift the weight right at the top of your upper chest while lying on a bench, a slight mistake can badly injure you. There are cases when people left dead during bench press.
You have to take special care and follow preventive measures when doing bench press alone either in the gym or home.
Always Bench Press in a Power Rack
Yes, the best and the safest way to bench press safely is to do it in a power rack.
Power racks have safety bars that will stop the barbell from falling on you in case if things get out of control. Safety bars must be adjusted prior to starting exercise and must not restrict your movement. Make sure that bars are adjusted at a level that you can do full range motion but in case of any issue, your chest must be blocked.
If you are doing bench press at home and there is no one around you, your best bet is to use a power rack. If you are in gym but your spotter is incompetent, it is recommended to use power rack instead of a spotter.
Setting the Safety Bars
Before you start benching at a power rack, adjust the safety bars or safety pins. Now this is the real art here. As already said, safety pins must not block your motion or movements. You need to adjust safety bars at the lowest level near your chest and ribcage such that when you move the barbell downwards, it should come close to your chest without touching the safety bars.
And if you accidently lose grip on the barbell, it should not hit your chest rather it must be blocked by the safety pins.
Use Appropriate Weights
Safety pins give you a whole lot of confidence. You know that you will not get hurt but it doesn’t mean to try doing the impossible. Keep the weights reasonable. Don’t go for heavy weights if you have just started.
It has been seen that people tend to increase weight significantly just because they are sure that safety bars will block if they fail. Keep in mind that safety pins will do their work but lifting too much weight might hurt your wrist or even damage your muscles.
Appropriate weights must be used to keep things natural.
One of the most common reasons of bench press accidents include slipping of the barbell because of sweaty hands. Don’t let this happen to you. Always use chalk to keep your hands dry to avoid slipping of the barbell.
There are 101 ways to grip the barbell and only one of them is right. Look at the image below to figure out how to grip the barbell to avoid injuries.
Always use the bulldog grip to avoid wrist injuries.
The easiest and safest way to pressing is in a power rack. When you are benching in a power rack, it doesn’t matter whether you are alone or not, you are always safe.
You can read more about one of 4 best power rack exercises: Squat and Overhead Press