This blog post will go over some bench press variations, benefits, and techniques to help you get started on your fitness journey!
##What is The Bench Press Exercise?
The bench press is an upper-body weightlifting exercise, which involves lying on your back and pushing a barbell up from the chest until your arms are straight.
This may sound simple enough, but there's more to it than meets the eye!
The bench press is one of the most popular weightlifting exercises in existence for good reason; it provides a variety of incredible health and fitness benefits like increasing metabolism or building mass on your upper body muscles.
Some examples are incline, decline, dumbbells, or smith machine lifts.
The Smith Machine is a popular piece of weight training apparatus that can be used to perform many different workout routines. The bar moves on bearings within the frame rather than with free weights.
You can also perform bench presses on a Swiss ball or stability ball, which provides an increased range of motion and engages additional stabilizer muscles. This is great for those who are looking to develop core strength as well!
There's no way around it; the bench press exercise works your arms like nothing else. But if you're more interested in toned arms than if they are jacked, there is an alternative.
The Dumbbell Bench Press allows the lifter to lift each arm independently or together. The exercise can be performed on a flat bench or incline for varying levels of difficulty and resistance.
##Benefits of The Bench Press
Bench press has many benefits:-
- It not only promotes muscle growth but also helps to develop muscle strength.
- It has many variations which can be used for different types of workouts.
- The bench press increases the strength and endurance in your arms, shoulders, chest, and back muscles.
- When performed correctly on a regular basis it is an exercise that can improve bone density as well as muscle tone.
- Bench pressing is also great for increasing metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day!
- It also helps build upper-body mass which improves cardiovascular health.
Now that you understand some of the benefits, let's go over how to do this exercise properly!
##How to Do a Bench Press?
Step 1 - To perform the bench press, lie on your back and plant both feet firmly onto the ground.
Step 2 - Grab a barbell with an overhand grip that's slightly wider than shoulder-width apart from each other. Your hands should be positioned at a 45-degree angle to your torso.
Step 3 - You want to keep your arms extended without locking your elbows. The barbell should be directly above your chest with arms bent at roughly 90 degrees.
Step 4 - Now, slowly lift the barbell off of the ground until it reaches arm's length. At this point, you want to exhale and push the weight up toward the ceiling by contracting your pectoral muscles (chest), anterior deltoid (shoulders), and triceps muscles.
Step 5 - Keep your back pressed against the bench and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you lift the weight up.
Step 6 - You should inhale on the way down, slowly lowering it back to starting position until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle or just short of locking out elbows.
Step 7 - Performing this exercise without proper form could lead to injury. You may also want a spotter if you're new to weightlifting, unsure of the correct technique, or lifting heavyweights.
Now that you know how to perform bench presses properly and understand some of their benefits, let's go over few variations!
##Variations of the Bench Press Exercise
Bench Press Variations Include Bench press with feet on floor or bench, incline bench press with weight instead of dumbbells, decline bench press with weight instead of dumbbells, barbell incline bench press at 45-degree angle, and smith machine bench press.
Incline Bench Press:
This bench press variation is performed exactly like the standard bench press, except that you set up with a bench angled between 30 and 45 degrees.
Decline Bench Press:
This variation is performed in much of the same way as an incline bench press; however, instead of angling your back upward for support, you'll lie on a decline bench with your head at the lower end.
Dumbbell Bench Press:
This bench press variation gives you a little more freedom to move around as each arm has its own weight and can be moved independently of one another. However, dumbbells are harder to control than barbells so it will take some practice.
In this exercise, you will hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing your torso and arms extended by your sides.
You then sit down on a bench and slowly press the dumbbells upward until your arms are extended at shoulder level, along with exhaling.
Now slowly lower your arms back to starting position while inhaling.
Smith Machine Bench Press:
This weight training apparatus is commonly used in most gyms because it offers dynamic support to the lifter and prevents them from having to balance a barbell.
The Smith Machine has four vertical supports and guide rods that hold the weight plates, allowing you to perform an infinite amount of exercises like bench presses.
While using this machine doesn't allow you to lift as much weight, it does help you prevent injury and allows for a smooth lifting motion.
You can perform this bench press exercise sitting or standing with the barbell in front of your hips on the Smith Machine. Your grip should be shoulder-width apart while holding onto an underhand grip that's close to your body. Your legs should be shoulder-width apart and your back pressed against a pad.
Next, you will slowly lower the barbell until it's near the top of your chest while exhaling then press to starting position as you inhale by contracting your pectoral muscles (chest), anterior deltoid (shoulders), and triceps muscles.
As you lower the barbell, make sure to keep your elbows tucked in close to your body. Also, remember not to lock out your elbow joints at the bottom of each repetition!
##Tips for Performing a Perfect Bench Press Exercise
- You should always have a spotter when bench pressing to ensure safety.
- Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground for stability throughout the exercise routine.
- You should not lock out your elbows at any point during this workout, as it can cause injury or strain in the triceps and shoulders. These are just some of the most important points to remember when bench pressing.
- If you want to try some variations, there are several alternatives: incline and decline presses, dumbbells, smith machine lifts. etc! Try them all out to see which one suits your workout needs the best.
- By performing this exercise regularly with proper form throughout your fitness journey, you will see improvement in the size and strength of your muscles.
- Regardless of which way you perform it, bench pressing should be performed in sets of three with a brief rest period between each set.
- You can begin by doing this exercise two or three times per week and slowly increase your workout days to four, five, or six. As long as you are performing this exercise correctly, these benefits should be seen within a couple of weeks of starting out.
Once you get used to bench pressing, it's important not to go overboard and begin doing too much. This can cause overtraining of the muscles leading to injury or other problems.
Limit your weight amounts for each set so that you aren't putting any excess stress on your muscles during this exercise routine.
If in doubt, it is always best to consult a professional who can advise you on the correct exercise regime for your needs.
Bench pressing should not be performed by those new to weight training as they have not yet developed the muscles required in order to do so correctly and with proper form.
If attempting this lift using free weights or a smith machine, make sure to have a spotter nearby in case you need help.
The bench press is an excellent workout for everyone from beginners to athletes, but remember that it can be dangerous if not done correctly!
In the end, bench pressing should only be performed occasionally by those who are new or overweight and never more than five times per week even by advanced athletes.
Do not bench press with weights that are too heavy for you to do so safely, as it can cause injury or strain in the muscles and tendons.
Bench pressing incorrectly will only lead to problems down the road when trying to perform this exercise properly causes pain in your joints!
It is important when bench pressing that you take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety, but also see results from this exercise routine.
If at any point you feel pain or discomfort while bench pressing - stop!
In the above blog, we have included a variety of information about how to perform the bench presses and what equipment is necessary for various forms of it.
The muscles you'll develop through regular bench presses will help improve your posture, giving you the strength needed for everyday activities.
You can even add in some pushups between sets to increase the difficulty and provide a nice break!
Whether you're just starting your fitness journey or looking for new ways to stay motivated, we hope that this article has helped!
Now that you understand how to do this exercise, it's time to try it out for yourself. Good luck with your workout routine!