Bench press exercise: the key points

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2015 Jun;55(6):604-8. Epub 2014 May 13.


The bench press exercise (BPE) is receiving increasing interest as a field testing, training/therapeutic modality to improve neuromuscular performance or to increase bone mass density. Several studies have been performed using BPE as a standard for increasing upper-limb strength. For this purpose, the position of the bar, the loads, the sets, the number of repetitions, the recovery time in-between sets, the movement speed, the muscular work and the use of the determination of the one repetition maximum (1-RM) are the classical tools investigated in the literature that have been shown to affect the BPE effect on neuromuscular. The goal of the present short review is to make a picture of the current knowledge on the bench press exercise, which could be very helpful for a better understanding of this standard movement and its effects. Based on the related literature, several recommendations on these key points are presented here.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Upper Extremity