USAPL Bench Press Rules of Performance

As a competitor, it’s your duty to know what constitutes a good lift or a bad lift. Continue reading and swipe on the carousel to learn more about the bench press!⁣

1. Prior to benching, you must setup in the proper position. This includes your head, shoulders and butt on the bench, feet flat on the ground, fingers gripping the bar and elbows locked. 𝐍𝐎𝐓𝐄: Your thumbs must be wrapped around the bar. 𝐒𝐮𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐠𝐫𝐢𝐩 𝐢𝐬𝐧’𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐝.⁣

2. It’s important to note that the bar must be 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 in order to receive the “𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐒” command. Some athletes believe they received too long of a pause when, in reality, the bar was still moving on their chest.⁣

3. A common error in beginners is not waiting for the commands. You must wait to receive the “𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐑𝐓” command at the beginning of the lift, the “𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐒” command once the bar is motionless on the torso and the “𝐑𝐀𝐂𝐊” command at the end of the lift. This failure is denoted with a 𝐲𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐝.⁣

4. Another common error is downward motion of the bar. The bar can have an uneven lockout, but it can’t go back down. This failure is denoted with a 𝐛𝐥𝐮𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐝.⁣

5. Watch out for 𝐬𝐨𝐟𝐭 𝐞𝐥𝐛𝐨𝐰𝐬! The elbows must be locked at the start and end of the lift. There are no medical exemptions for this. This failure is denoted with a 𝐛𝐥𝐮𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐝.⁣

6. The head, shoulders and butt must remain in contact with the bench throughout the lift. In addition, the feet must remain flat on the ground. It’s okay if the feet slide on the ground. This failure is denoted with a 𝐲𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐝.⁣

7. Other failures include the spotters touching the bar (yellow card), bar not lowered to torso (red card), bar touching the belt (red card), feet contacting the bench or supports (yellow card), using the rack to aid in the lift (yellow card), and heaving or sinking (yellow card).⁣

8. You’re now ready for white lights and PRs. 𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐥𝐮𝐜𝐤!⁣

If you have any questions about the bench press, then comment below.

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