How To Perform The Bench Press Perfectly
The bench press is probably the most recognizable exercise besides the pushup. And this is because of its effectiveness as a part of a well-rounded exercise and strength training routine.
Not only can the bench press help your upper body become stronger, but it can also help your physical appearance as well.
Which Muscles The Bench Press Uses
Depending on the version of bench press that you perform, there are a wide number of muscle groups that can be affected: pectoral muscles, serratus anterior, anterior deltoids, and the triceps.
How you move your arms through the bench press movement as well as how you place your hands on the bar can make all of the difference in what muscles are affected. But most people will find that the most results are in the pectoral region when the exercise is performed as part of a normal training routine. In terms of competition, the focus extends to the arm muscle groups as you are using concentrated efforts to lift the weight one time.
How To Perform A Perfect Bench Press
First of all, you will need a weight bench. This bench will allow you to fully extend your arms through the movement. The bench should only be as slender as the thickness of your body, able to support your back and shoulders and lower body. Lying down on the bench, you will place the soles of your feet on the ground, perpendicular to the bench itself. This will help support you through the movement.
On many weight benches, they will have a rack upon which you can place the barbell for you to reach up and grab. When you do this, you will want to hold in your stomach and press the small of your back onto the weight bench – try to maintain this position throughout the movement with the weight.
You will grab the weight, lift it until it is in line with your shoulders and perpendicular, then you will slowly drop the weight until it is a few inches off of your chest. The finish of the bench press movement is when you push the weight back up into the top position and then either repeat or place back in the holders.
It is important that you focus on tightening your chest as you move through the movement, concentrating on keeping the arms in the same line of movement throughout the exercise. You may want to also make sure that you are facing upwards at all times to keep your back in line and supported.
Different Positions To Try When Bench Pressing
There are variations of the bench press that will target a wide variety of muscles. By placing your hands further together or wider apart, you will be able to change the muscles that you are working. You can also use a tilted bench to perform the bench press at an angle.
You can use either a barbell or dumbbells when you are performing the bench press, though it can be more difficult with dumbbells as you need to keep them in mirroring positions.