Not too long ago, a commercial debuted which featured Drake getting so absorbed into his workout soundtrack that he failed on his bench press attempt. While the video spot was obviously just a joke, there are some things you can learn from the video that will help you avoid falling on bench presses.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Drake made his first big mistake when he didn’t take enough time to rest before his bench attempt adequately. He just got done doing dumbbell overhead presses, which use a lot of the same muscles as the bench, and hopped on the bench within 30 seconds while his muscles were still fatigued. Don’t be afraid to rest if you’re working hard.
Give the Posturing a Rest
In this pic, Drake is mugging a bit for the mirror before his failed bench attempt. If you’re spending more time taking Instagram pics or trying to impress the cardio bunnies at the gym than focusing, you’re going to have the same problem he had in the video.
Use Your Legs!
Here you can see that Drake isn’t using his legs at all for the lift. The bench press isn’t just a chest exercise. It should use almost your entire body, including your chest, triceps, shoulders, and even your legs.
How to Arch Properly
In this photo, you’ll see a much better pic of how to set yourself up for a bench. Notice the lifter’s back is arched, but his butt and shoulder blades are still on the bench. If either one comes off, the lift doesn’t count. Don’t cheat!
When Drake gets the weight down to his chest, he attempts to bounce it off of his chest to build easy momentum for the bar to shoot back up. That’s not good form and keeps you from building strength at the bottom of your bench, which can lead to failures when you step up the weight later on.
Use Perfect Form
Perfect form will help you lift heavier weights with more efficiency. In this photo, you’ll see that Drake’s wrists are bent quite a bit. Using wrist straps or building up forearm and wrist strength will help avoid this and keep the weight located vertically above your elbows.
Make Sure You Can Handle It
Here, you can see that as Drake lowers the bar, one side is far lower than the other. Sure, he’s acting, but many bench presses showcase this problem. It typically means that your stabilizers are weak or you have a dominant side. Work more on lighter weights before progressing to fix the problem.
Always Have a Spotter
Last, but not least, always use a spotter for bench presses. Drake did one thing right in the video – he at didn’t have pins on the barbell, so he could drop the weight if necessary. Still, bench pressing without a spotter is dangerous. Don’t do it.