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Fitness & Health

08th Feb 2016

VIDEO: You’ve probably been doing the bench press wrong your whole life

Ben Kenyon

Everyone wants a big chest.

It’s the muscle everyone trains first and it’s probably the reason you can get nowhere near the bench at the gym on a Monday.

But getting bigger pectorals isn’t just a case of pushing out a few reps.

We’ve just seen this  Instagram post from a top British personal trainer, Mark Coles, and it turns out we’ve been hitting the bench press wrong our whole lives.


Apparently, the key is not going too heavy before you have perfected the move. Then you need to ensure you go through a full range of motion, keeping your scapula retracted and the contraction on your chest throughout.

If you’re keeping your elbows tucked in when pressing or bringing the dumbbells towards your shoulders, then you’re probably hitting your triceps and shoulders instead of your chest.

Here is the perfect technique….

Most people's first thought will be that @kirk_abs_miller isn't moving much load. To be honest in comparison to what he was lifting before it isn't. However what he is doing now is taking his pecs through a full range, he's keeping his scapula retracted, he's initiating his pecs from the lengthened position and he's keeping them contracted through the entire range. When I first watched Kirk press, he brought the Dumbbells in towards his shoulders and pulled his elbows close to his side. When he pressed he lost scapula stability, protracted hard and pressed up through his triceps and delts. The load he is using here is what he can press using his chest, the load he was using before was being lifted by surrounding muscles. In order to make progress, you have to start with what the intended muscle can lift through a full range, and then make progress from there. He's 7 lbs up in two weeks, with no increase in body fat. TAG someone who needs to know this tip #covermodelchest #m10 #physiquecoach @watsongymequipment

A post shared by Mark Coles (@markcolesm10) on