The dumbbells on the bench press can be a great way to gain volume in the chest if used correctly, but any forgetfulness can call on other muscles to help the body movewhich means you are more likely to work your arms more than the area you actually want to develop.
In a new video on his YouTube channel, the physical trainer Jeremy Ethier offers a tip trick of what he believes to be the five most common mistakes people make with barbell pressing and simple methods to correct your technique to look taller.
For starters, you’ve noticed that a lot of people go for a wide arm in this exercise and they simply move the dumbbells up and down as they perceive it to be easier and possible to lift more weight. However, this perception is due to the fact that you don’t use the chest and can actually create a risk of injury. “To maximize chest activation, you need to position your arms in the same direction that your chest fibers move,” says Ethier. “You are going to want tuck your elbows in at a 45-60 degree angle to your body and thus allow the grip slightly inwards with the elbows… The dumbbells will not go up and down in a straight line but move forward down and back up”, he reveals.
The following error concerns the forearm. As he lifted more and more weight on the dumbbell press, Ethier noticed that he began to tuck his forearms inward more and more, shortening the lever and used the triceps, which made the move easier. “Lighten the weight, keep your forearm vertical above your elbow on each rep and you will notice the difference right away,” he advises.
Another common form error is use the shoulders, round them forward at the top end of the movement. It may help your shoulder muscles grow, but not your chest. Ethier recommends doing some activation exercises that open the chest before you start the dumbbell press, such as laying your back on a foam roller or doing a back and forth motion with a resistance band.
The fourth error is very easy to correct: some people touch the dumbbells together at the top of the movement to make sure they’ve moved as far as they can. However, the truth is that once your arms are fully extended, you cannot go any further with the movement. “To maintain a constant tension in the chest, stop after each repetition once your arms are just above your shoulders“, says Ethier.
The fifth error concerns the angle of the bank. “To do anything other than dumbbell flat bench presses, I also recommend incline the bench once a week says Ethier. He recommends that it be a small slope between 15 and 30 degrees to facilitate the goal of working with the chest.
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