The bench press is an exercise that many people shy away from because they don’t know how to do it properly. It’s important to remember that just because it looks relatively straightforward, that doesn’t mean you can get away with doing it incorrectly. Like any other weight training exercise, there are specific techniques that must be observed if you want to avoid injury and maximise results.
Below, we’ll walk through exactly how to do the bench press so you can start building those upper body muscles immediately.
The bench press is a compound exercise
The bench press is a compound exercise. This means it works various muscles in your body. It’s a staple of any strength training routine. This is because it actively engages the pectoralis major (chest), anterior deltoids (shoulders), and your triceps in your upper arms.
These are three essential muscle groups for developing upper body strength. In addition to getting stronger with each rep, you’ll also increase your cardiovascular endurance with the bench press. This is because you’ll be upping your heart rate while performing the bench press.
Because this move involves multiple joints and muscles working together, it qualifies as a compound movement. This means one that it uses more than one joint at once or more than one muscle group at once. So, if you’re new to weightlifting and want an exercise that covers all of these bases without putting too much strain on one single area of your body, start with the bench press.
It’s primarily a chest exercise
Your chest muscles – including the pectoralis major, minor, fascia and will be the primary beneficiary of this exercise. Your triceps and shoulders, however, will also get some attention. The bench press is a compound exercise that targets several muscle groups at once. It involves many smaller muscles as well as the larger ones to help stabilise your body as you lift the weight off its rack.
This exercise is mainly used to build muscle and increase strength
The bench press is a compound exercise that works your chest and shoulders, as well as the triceps. It’s considered one of the best exercises for building muscle and increasing strength, making it an important part of most workouts.
Bench presses are also relatively easy to learn, so you can start trying out this movement right away.
The bench press helps stabilise your body
This exercise is involved in several muscle groups. It’s also a complex exercise that requires a lot of stabiliser muscles to work in concert to help stabilise your body.
Stabiliser muscles are smaller muscles that work together with your larger muscle groups to keep you balanced and stable. They’re important for posture, balance and injury prevention — and they come into play when you lift heavy weights.
The bench press uses these smaller stabilising muscles because it requires the entire upper body to move as one unit. This is especially true when you’re lifting a heavy weight from the chest up. This can be especially important for people with an existing shoulder issue or those who want to avoid injury.
The bench press is one of the most effective ways you can strengthen your core and improve your posture. There’s a reason it’s included in many workout routines: it works!
The bench press requires you to use your core muscles to stabilise your body. This means that this exercise will help strengthen the muscles around your spine. Since these muscles are so important for supporting good posture, improving their strength can help prevent back pain.
You don’t have to use a barbell or even lie down on the ground in order to get the benefits of the bench press. You can also do this exercise while lying on a stability ball or while standing on a Bosu ball.
It hits your entire upper body
The bench press is a great exercise because it hits your entire upper body and incorporates more stabiliser muscles than any other weight lifting movement. It’s also a compound exercise, meaning that it works several different muscle groups at once.
That makes the bench press one of the best exercises for strengthening your chest and shoulders. It’s also great for helping to improve posture and building up your triceps and back muscles (often referred to as “the lats”). The bench press requires coordination so you can use these smaller muscles to stabilise your body while pressing weight overhead.
The flat bench press allows you to use your body weight as resistance
To get started, you can do the flat bench press using your body weight as resistance. This is a good way to perfect your form and build up some strength while staying safe.
Start light with dumbbells and use a spotter if possible. Be sure to keep your back straight and feet planted on the floor throughout the entire movement. You mustn’t let them rest in between reps or during breaks in between sets.
How to Perform a Bench Press
If you are new to the bench press, it is highly recommended that you use a spotter in order to ensure proper safety. If no one is available, or if you are training with your own equipment at home, here are some tips for performing a bench press on your own:
- Lie down on your back on a flat bench in your starting position.
- Make sure your back is slightly arched.
- Ensure both feet are firmly planted flat on the ground (do not use a bench step).
- Keep yourself from rotating backwards or forwards by pinching your shoulder blades together tightly. Keep them there during each rep (this will help avoid injury).
- Take grip of the barbell, palms facing down and hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Next, lift the barbell off of its rack (be careful not to drop it). Lower it down until it’s about 5cm (2 inches) from touching your chest, then push it back up again.
- When lowering the bar, do not bounce it off your chest. This can cause injuries such as a herniated disc in your lower back. Lowering the bar slowly helps keep your spine in a neutral position and avoid injury.
- Make sure you do not lower the bar to your neck or chin. When lowering the weight, try to have it stop just shy of touching either of these areas. This will put unnecessary strain on those joints and may cause injury over time.
- Now that you’re at the bottom, pause for a moment. Then push it up again to complete one repetition.
- Slowly lower the bar by bending your elbows until it nearly touches your lower chest. Then lift the barbell above your chest, arms fully extended. Lower it to your lower chest again and repeat until you finish all repetitions of your set.
This exercise helps give you a strong upper body
Bench pressing is an exercise that can give you a strong upper body with benefits reaching into all areas of life.
- Building muscle. By the nature of bench pressing, you are utilising your chest muscles and shoulder blades to lift the weight up and hold it in place. The more muscle mass you have on your upper body, the more weight you will be able to lift! This can help increase strength in other exercises as well (like push-ups).
- Improving posture. Bench pressing creates these big muscles that hold up so much weight. This helps keep your back straight and shoulders pulled back when doing other activities such as carrying groceries or lifting children!
- Increasing testosterone levels. Having large muscles also makes our bodies produce more testosterone. This means stronger bones, improved cardiovascular health (because our heart needs oxygen), plus many other benefits!
There are many benefits to bench pressing, but the best part is that it’s easy to do. Anyone can learn how to bench press, regardless of age or fitness level. The key is to start out light and perfect your form before adding weight. Once you get comfortable with this exercise and get stronger over time, you’ll be on your way toward a stronger upper body!