5 Biggest Chest Training Mistakes
You can’t build a massive chest with shoddy technique and bad form. Avoiding these five common training blunders will guarantee “pec-tacular” gains!
By Bill Geiger, MA and Jimmy Peña, MS, CSCS
1. LIFTING YOUR BUTT OFF THE BENCH
While you might see some big benchers raise their hips off the bench, it’s not a practice you should try. Raising your hips off the bench in an attempt to lift more weight invites injury while turning the move into more of a decline press (during which you’re stronger and the range of motion is shorter). While that may be advantageous for guys who bench for record weights, as a bodybuilder you could simply do declines instead if you want to focus on your lower pecs. To keep the stress on the middle pecs, keep your hips glued to the bench. You can still drive through your feet, but keep your hips and glutes down.
2. NOT WRAPPING YOUR THUMBS AROUND THE BAR
Here’s one of those mistakes you make because you get comfortable doing a movement in a particular way, and then it just feels right to do it that way — even when it’s not. Using a thumbless grip (thumbs wrapped around the bar on the same side as the fingers) won’t be a problem 99% of the time, but it’s that 1% that can kill you. With a heavy weight, the bar can slip from your grip and come crashing down, exactly as it did to USC tailback Stafon Johnson a few years ago and almost ended his football career. Get in the habit of wrapping those thumbs around the bar.