Issue 2: Novice bench pressers tend to use zero upper back arch to help stabilize the shoulder joint or if they do arch it's from the lumbar spine and not the thoracic (upper back).
Bench pressing with poor technique over a long period of time can cause nagging anterior shoulder and low back pain, two overuse injuries some softball players tend to accumulate over the course of the season. So why risk it when there are safer alternatives?
Issue 3: Many young women have not EARNED the right to use the bench press simply because they are not strong enough to do more than 5-8 easy reps with just the bar.
With that being said, the majority of athletes are better off mastering various dumbell and push-up variations to help gain strength and increase confidence.
Note** My rule of thumb is to make sure my female athletes can crush a 35-40lb dumbell bench press for sets of heavy doubles or triples and crush 10 solid push-ups before tossing them on the rack.
Why the Dumbell Bench Press is a better variation to help novice lifters get stronger
Reason 1: Theres no barrier to entry
With the bench press, you NEED to be able to press 45 pounds no ands ifs or buts about it. With the dumbell bench press its more efficient to meet the athlete where their current strength levels are and build from there.
Reason 2: Grooves technique and helps build context for the bench press
The dumbell bench press or floor press requires a solid upper back arch, full body tension and control to perform correctly. Check out this video to get a quick tutorial on why I coach the floor press this way.