Pressing exercises are always incorporated into any athlete’s routine. When you add a bench that can incline and decline, there are even more gains to reap. Here are 6 bench press benefits everyone should know.
“How much do you bench?” is a question posed regularly for people at the gym who are looking to build the biggest muscle. If you want to build a stronger chest, you cannot escape the bench press. However, bench press benefits go beyond hitting your chest muscles.
How To Bench Press?
To bench press you need a bench and a pair of dumbbells or a barbell loaded with your desired weight.
- Lay on the bench with the barbell with hand slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Slowly lift the bar off rack and lower the bar to the chest. Elbows bend out to the side of your body.
- When the bar gets close to your body or touches your body just below the chest line.
- Push the barbell up to the initial position.
If performing with dumbbells, you must bring hold one dumbbell in each hand and bring the dumbbells to the bottom position to begin the movement pressing up and slowing it down.
The bench press is already a formidable exercise, but with the option to do with dumbbells or a barbell, incline or decline the bench to the desired angle, plus the placement of your hands on the barbell, adds extra elements to the exercise that will only make your time on the bench more valuable.
Check out 6 bench press benefits.
1. Best for Growth – Bench Press Benefits
It doesn’t matter where you search, if you are looking for the best chest exercise the bench press will be at the top or thereabouts (usually the barbell version).
That is because of how easy it is to overload your targeted muscles. Simply add more weight plates to the barbell and get back to work.
2. Focus On Upper, Middle, or Lower Pecs
Having the bench at your disposal is an incredible accessory. It is thanks to being able to incline or decline the bench that you can hit different areas of your pecs if you wish so.
For the upper chest, you should incline the bench. For lower pecs is better to do decline bench press. A flat bench will target mostly your middle chest area.
It is a jack of all trades.
3. Change Your Grip, Change the Focus
While doing bench press with a barbell, you may also change how wide or narrow you hold the bar. And by doing so, it also shifts the focus of the muscle you are targeting.
A wide grip bench press is commonly used because that is how you target your pecs. However, if you choose a close grip, you will be hitting more your triceps.
4. Fix Muscle Imbalances – Bench Press Benefits
While using the barbell is better for heavier loads, you can switch it up for dumbbells and see a whole new plethora of bench press benefits. The first one is that it helps fix muscle imbalances.
With a barbell, it is possible that one side of your chest is working harder than the other side. The dumbbell bench press corrects that because you are lifting exactly the same weight with both hands independently.
5. Better Contraction, Muscle Stretch, and Less Stress on Joints
Using dumbbells instead of a barbell will allow a greater set of motion. This, in turn, allows for a bigger muscle stretch and better contraction at the top of the movement.
The dumbbell bench press will engage stabilising muscles and as a result, you will recruit and activate more muscle fibres.
You can rotate your wrists and move more freely your elbows and arms, which makes the dumbbell bench press variation an exercise that is less stressful on your joints.
6. Variations, variations, and more variations…
The bench press benefits are numerous, but perhaps the best benefit of it is the incredible amount of variations one person can choose from.
No barbell or no dumbbell? You can do bench press with kettlebells. The benefits are similar to using dumbbells.
Not only you can incline or decline the bench to your liking, but you can also play around the tempo while lifting the weight, lift one dumbbell at a time, rotate dumbbells or change the grip on dumbbells as well.