Barbell Guillotine Bench Press

Barbell Guillotine Bench Press

The Barbell Guillotine Bench Press is a compound strength training exercise that primarily targets the chest muscles. It is a variation of the traditional bench press, but with a wider grip and a more vertical bar path. This exercise is known for its ability to develop upper chest muscles, shoulder stability, and overall upper body strength. To perform a Barbell Guillotine Bench Press, you would lie flat on a bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Grip the bar with a grip that is wider than shoulder-width apart, with your palms facing away from you. The wider grip targets the upper chest muscles more effectively. As you lower the bar towards your upper chest, you allow the bar to come down in a more vertical path compared to a regular bench press. This puts more emphasis on the upper chest while still engaging the triceps, shoulders, and even the core muscles. Exhale and push the bar back up to the starting position, maintaining control and tension throughout. It's important to note that the Barbell Guillotine Bench Press can be more challenging than the traditional bench press due to the increased range of motion and the greater emphasis on the upper chest muscles. Proper form and technique are crucial to reduce the risk of injury and maximize the benefits of this exercise. Incorporating the Barbell Guillotine Bench Press into your workout routine can help you develop a stronger and more balanced upper body. Remember to start with a weight that allows you to maintain proper form and gradually increase the load as you become more comfortable and stronger. As with any exercise, it is important to listen to your body, ensure proper recovery, and consult with a fitness professional for personalized guidance. Keep challenging yourself and strive for continuous improvement to achieve your fitness goals.


  • Start by lying flat on a bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground and your back pressed against the bench.
  • Position your hands on the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with an overhand grip.
  • Unrack the barbell and hold it straight above your chest with your arms fully extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly lower the barbell towards your upper chest while keeping your elbows pointed out to the sides.
  • Continue lowering the barbell until it is just above your upper chest, making sure to maintain control and a slow, controlled movement.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then press the barbell back up to the starting position by extending your arms.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  • Remember to breathe smoothly throughout the exercise, inhaling as you lower the barbell and exhaling as you press it back up.
  • Maintain proper form by keeping your back firmly pressed against the bench and avoiding any excessive arching or lifting of your hips.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on maintaining proper form and technique throughout the movement to maximize effectiveness and prevent injuries.
  • Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as your strength improves.
  • Engage your core muscles by bracing your abs and squeezing your glutes throughout the exercise.
  • Ensure a full range of motion by lowering the barbell until it touches or comes very close to your neck/chest.
  • Incorporate a variety of gripping positions (e.g., wide, narrow, neutral) to target different muscle groups.
  • Listen to your body and take rest days when needed to allow for proper recovery and muscle growth.
  • Combine the barbell guillotine bench press with other compound exercises to work multiple muscle groups in your upper body.
  • Perform the exercise with a spotter for safety and added support, especially when attempting heavier weights.
  • Gradually increase the number of repetitions or sets to challenge your muscles and improve muscular endurance over time.
  • Incorporate other upper body exercises, such as rows and shoulder presses, to create a well-rounded and balanced workout routine.


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