The best overall movement for building strength. Lie flat on your back. Adjust your hands so that they are evenly spaced on the bar just outside of your shoulders. Keep your neck straight and your head and upper back flat against the back of the bench. Lift the weight (Fig. 1) and gradually lower the bar so it just touches the lower portion of your chest (Fig. 2), then gradually return the weight to the starting position, while being careful not to overextend your elbows. Perform 8 to 12 reps or to failure. If you are using heavy weight or training to failure, make sure you’re not alone. Ask someone to spot you because there is chance that you won’t be able to lift the weight back on the support rack. Many people have been injured like this. The only time to use a bench press alone is when you use a bench press machine.