Getting stuck while benching sucks. Especially if you have not made any progress in a while.

Fortunately, there are some simple tips you can use to help bust that plateau and break that sticking point in your bench.

Everyone benches a little differently due to body mechanics, but there are some things that everyone can do.

Derek Kendall Bench

Breaking Down The Bench

Before we get into how to cure a sticking point, let’s go over how the bench press works, why it’s a really technical lift, and why you may be screwing up.

Lift Off

Believe it or not, the lift off is one of the most crucial points in a lift. Your lift off will determine your shoulder placement, grip width, and hip placement. You need to practice your lift off to be exactly the same as before. This consistency will help you find your problems later on.


While simply letting the weight drop to your chest to use it like a trampoline sounds cool, it isn’t. Doing this causes you to lose back tightness, can bruise or break your sternum, or you can just look like an idiot.

For your descent, you need to focus on upper back and lat tightness. This descent is using your back muscles as a springboard and you should “row” the bar down to your chest. Keep leg drive tight and get ready to lock and load that release.

bench press


If you’ve gotten this far and have everything down, great job. For the upward motion, you’re going to want to remain tight and explode your press up.

With some practice, you’ll be able to keep your elbows from flaring and really start nailing your lockouts.

Lock Out

Your lock out should be done in a safe and controlled manner. Snapping your elbows straight is not doing anything but inviting injury.


Racking the weight can be problematic if you are really pushing yourself. Making sure you can rack the weights safely should be a primary concern of yours.

When racking the weight, maintain tightness as you swing the weight back into the catches. You’ve made it this far, don’t screw this up.

bench fail

Find out the tips on the next page…

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