Because everyone’s arms are different lengths, the barbell will make contact at a different location on their chest. During the bench press, adjustments in grip breadth will affect where the barbell touches your chest. Because bringing the barbell in the wrong position makes the exercise harder than it needs to be, where it touches matters.
So, during the bench press, where should the barbell rest on your chest? During the bench press, the barbell should come into contact with the area between the lower pec muscles and the lower sternum. The lower the barbell touches your chest, the narrower your grasp. The higher the barbell touches your chest, the wider your grip.
In this article, I’ll set out the principles you can use to determine where the barbell should touch during the bench press, depending on how you’re doing it.
Touchpoints on the Bench Press: Key Points
The bench press touch point must meet the following bench press technique criteria:
- From the side, the forearm must be vertical.
- From the side, the barbell must be above and parallel to the forearm.
- The barbell must be raised above the elbow crooks.
These conditions apply to the bench press’s whole range of motion. These requirements must be completed regardless of whether you are performing a flat bench press, an incline bench press, or a decline bench press with a barbell.
The Length of Your Arm Bones
The length of your arm (especially the humerus, or upper arm bone) varies from person to person.
The lower the elbow is (closer to your feet), the lower the barbell will touch on your chest, and the longer the humerus is.
The higher the elbow (closer to your head) and hence the higher the barbell will contact on your chest, the shorter the humerus is.
The Width of Your Barbell Grip
You can also touch the barbell in a somewhat different location on your chest thanks to the bench press grip breadth.
The wider your grip, the higher your elbows are, and the barbell will rest slightly higher on your chest.
See why I recommend lifters utilize a broader grip when bench pressing in this post.
The smaller the grip breadth, the lower and closer your elbows are to your hips, resulting in the barbell touching your chest slightly lower.
Bench pressing with a close grip has additional benefits, which I discuss in a different post.
Is It Okay If The Bar
Yes is frequently the very easy, very straightforward, and very generic answer to this question… You should lower the bar to the point where it rests against your chest.
After all, that is the whole range of motion for how the barbell bench press is often performed. Every step of the way, every step of the way, every step of the way, every step of the way, every step of You know, the way every workout should be done in general. There will be no half reps, no cheating, and no nothing. All you need is a full range of motion.
So, in general, lowering the bar till your chest is in contact with it is a good idea.
Why Is It Important To Have The Right Touch Point?
The right touch point ensures that all of the primary muscle groups involved in the bench press are engaged in a balanced manner. This increases the amount of weight you can bench press using the barbell.
By utilizing a less efficient approach and putting your shoulder and elbow joints in an uncomfortable posture, not having the appropriate contact point can risk your performance. This will put you at a higher risk of getting hurt.
Later, I’ll go over some frequent blunders using your touch point.
What Is The Best Way To Touch The Barbell On Your Chest
During the bench press, a good touchpoint on your chest should include:
- A Gentle Touch
- A Range of Motion That Can Be Controlled
- A Gentle Touch
A Gentle Touch
In order to maintain tightness and stability in your torso, arch, and shoulders, the barbell should have a light touch on your chest. It’s also a safer approach to touch the barbell on your chest if you use a softer touch instead of plunging the barbell into your chest.
Touching the barbell on your chest in the same location and in the same way throughout all reps means that your technique will be more consistent, and your press out will originate from a more stable environment.
A Range of Motion That Can Be Controlled
Being able to contact your chest with a light touch and being more consistent will require intentionally managing the barbell on the descent. Allowing the barbell to fall freely can result in the barbell touching a different spot after each rep, increasing your risk of injuries including shoulder and pec strains.
Your Chest Isn’t Touched
If you bench press without touching your chest, it’s banned in competition if you’re a powerlifter. If you were training for muscle mass, you would also be less stimulating your chest, tricep, and shoulder muscles by reducing your range of motion.
According to research, exercise with a wider range of motion is better for hypertrophy.
For these reasons, it’s preferable to train with a wider range of motion and touch your chest while your pec and tricep muscles are at their most extended.
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The barbell touch point is an important aspect in developing a safe and effective bench press technique. If you don’t have a proper barbell touch point on your chest, you may want to consider lowering the weight during training so that you can retrain your barbell touch point behaviors.
Early on, it’s critical to invest in good, consistent technique in order to limit the chance of injury and increase the amount of weight you can lift. This will have a compounding effect over time.
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