Instructor: John Smith Date: March 6, 2006 Exercise: Barbell Bench Press
Objective: The purpose and proper technique for barbell bench press, including one variation will be explained and demonstrated to the class.
Reference: Silvers, W. M. (2006). Matt’s Book of Weight Training Exercises. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
ACTIVITY TIME [TEACHING PROCEDURES] AND CUES SAFETY CONCERNS EXERCISE PHOTOS
Introduction 30 sec [Assemble the group in a semi-circle]
Hello. My name is John Smith. Today I will be teaching you how to
perform the barbell bench press exercise.
Identification of 30 sec Primary emphasis is on the upper and lower pectoralis major.
Muscles Worked Secondary emphasis is on the anterior deltoid, triceps brachii,
coracobrachialis, and serratus anterior.
Warm-Up 1 min Perform a general warm-up prior to exercise consisting of 5-10 minutes of Students may not spend enough time in a
light aerobic exercise. general warm-up.
Immediately prior to this exercise, perform a specific warm-up that Students may try to lift too much weight in the
consists of 10 reps at 40-50% 1-RM. specific warm-up.
Exercise Technique 2 min Establish your 5 points of contact: 1) Feet on the Floor, 2) Buttocks on the Maintain the 5 points of contact at all times!
Bench, 3) Low Back on the Bench, 4) Shoulders on the Bench, and 5) Control the motion of the barbell at all times!
Head on the Bench. Do not hold your breath at any point!
Grip the bar with an overhand grip about 1.5 shoulder-widths apart. Do not lock your elbows out at any point in
With the help of a spotter, extend your arms to press the barbell off the the movement.
rack (see Figure 1). Keep your wrists and grip firm throughout the
Inhale slowly as you lower the barbell to the middle of your chest (see entire movement.
Exhale as your press the barbell back up to the starting position. Figure 1
Exercise Variation 1 min A common variation of the barbell bench press is to adjust grip width to The previous safety concerns apply.
place additional emphasis on the triceps brachii.
Grip the bar with an overhand grip less than 1 shoulder-width apart.
Perform the motion as described previously.
Student Practice 2:30 min [Each student should take the opportunity to practice the exercise and its Students may try to lift too much weight as
variation about 45 sec. to 1 min.] they practice.
[While one student performs the exercise, have the other students Instructor may have to guide exercise
critique the exercise using the points mentioned above.] technique if other students forget important
[Students should use light to moderate weight (~40-50% 1-RM)]. safety points.
Questions and 1 min Did anyone have trouble keeping the 5 points of contact?
Answers Why do you think that there is a tendency to lift the buttocks off the
bench? [Neck reflex – push is stronger if neck is hyperextended]
Did anyone have a tendency to hold their breath?
Why do you think there is a tendency to hold your breath? [Valsalva
maneuver increases intra-abdominal pressure, which increases force.]
Could anyone feel the emphasis on the triceps with the variation?
Cool-down and 1 min Immediately after exercise, cool-down your muscles by stretching the Do not hold your breath! [it raises blood
Stretching primary and secondary movers. pressure and increases the risk of stroke.]
For the pectoralis major, a good stretch is the towel or rope stretch. Avoid arching your back. [it places undue
Grip a towel or small section of rope with an overhand grip. stress on the intervertebral disks.]
With your arms straight, slowly raise the towel back over your head as far Avoid ballistic stretches! [this stretch should
as possible. be performed actively and statically.]
The closer your hands are together and the greater your ROM, the Do no stretch past the point of mild
greater the stretch. discomfort!
Hold the stretch at the top for 10-20 sec., then relax for 20 sec.
Repeat 3-4 times.
Peer Evaluation 30 sec [Ask the students to honestly fill out peer evaluation sheets with
constructive criticism on your demonstration.]
[Step away from students to provide confidentiality.]