Football Bar Bench Press: Gym Shorts (How To)

New to the football bar bench press or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

Football Bar Bench Press Correct Form

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

Follow these steps

  • Set Up
    • Use a spotter when possible
    • (Typically) pick grip that approximates normal bench press grip
    • Thumbs around bar with hands centered on handles
    • Wider/narrower grips approximate wide & close grip bench press
    • Big breath
    • With straight arms, bring the bar out until grip is in line with shoulders
  • Movement
    • Tuck elbows fairly close to ribs
    • Legs pressing into shoulders
    • Press back
    • Slow, controlled descent
    • Bar should be flat across the chest
    • Center of bar ‘touches’ around midsternum
    • Rack with straights arms

What Is the Football Bar Bench Press & Why Do It?

This movement provides variety in a lifter’s program as a bench press supplemental lift. Different football bars allow different grip widths and angles, but generally football bars enable a neutral or closer-to-neutral grip than a normal barbell allows over a variety of grip widths.

One benefit to this bar is people with wrist pain or issues can often perform a football bench press when they cannot perform a normal barbell bench press. Lifters who face this issue may want to wear wrist wraps when performing this exercise.

This exercise trains the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and chest, including pectoralis major, anterior deltoids, and triceps brachii.

The downside to this movement is you either have to purchase another barbell or train in a gym that has this bar, but these bars are becoming more common at even big box gyms and more and more companies are manufacturing football bars.

Programming the Football Bar Bench Press

Lifters of all training advancements perform this movement, as novices with wrist issues may need to perform this. That being said, as a supplemental lift, it typically is programmed for intermediates or advanced trainees.

If a lifter is limited to football bar bench press variations, variations with this bar can be used, just like with a barbell. A trainee can perform paused, spoto, close grip, wide grip, pin, floor press, and other variations with a football bar bench press, so plenty of variation and supplemental forms can still be included in a program.

These are typically performed similar to any other bench press, so for 2-5 sets of 3-15 reps, but if this serves as a main bench press then obviously the trainee will likely want to drive up the 1RM as well.

Click HERE to read about the muscles worked in the bench press and watch this video HERE to watch our in-depth instruction video on the bench press.

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