The Bench Press Exercise
The Bench Press is a great exercise that builds many muscles in the upper body but it can be a little hard to sometimes activate your chest muscles without accidentally using too much of your shoulder muscles which is not the intent of the workout. It's done with a flat bench and dumbbells or a barbell, either can be used but make sure you choose the appropriate weight for you.
Lie on the bench on your back, have your butt, shoulders, and head are flat on the bench. Your feet are flat on the floor and are somewhat wide apart.
1. Draw your shoulder blades back behind you to keep from pressing with rounded shoulders.
2. Grab the barbell or dumbbells with an overhand grip and make sure your arms are wider than shoulder width apart and have about a 45 degree angle from your body and upper arms.
3. Inhale while lowering the dumbbells or barbell to your chest, at the nipple line.
4. Exhale as you press the weight above your chest and extending your arms.
5. Then lower the weight so its just above your chest again, as its the next starting position again.
Benefits of the Bench Press
The bench press is an exercise that involves the pectoral muscles in the chest and depending on what variation of the workout you do, can also involve shoulder muscles and the triceps. It builds strength and encourages hypertrophy (growth) of these muscles.
Different Types of Bench Presses
Some of the different types of Bench Presses can focus more on the other surrounding muscles mentioned in the Benefits.
• Varied Grips:
This type is a more narrow grip where as the name indicates, you vary your grip to work slightly different muscles. The more narrow grip helps increase the use of triceps while a wider grip is more for the pectoral muscles.
•Incline Bench Press
An incline press is basically just a bench press but instead of a flat bench you put it up on an incline and it better emphasizes the deltoids of the solder more so than a normal bench press.
•Decline Bench Press
A decline better emphasizes the pectoral muscles better than an average bench press and follow the same basic steps, just on a decline vs. an incline.