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What Is Bench Press And Why It Is Best Exercise?

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What is the bench press?

The bench press is a very famous exercise. It mainly focuses on the upper body muscles. The major targetted muscles by it are pectoral major, anterior deltoid, and triceps muscles.

Some other body muscles also get benefits from this, like core and back muscles. Most athletes use barbells to perform this exercise, but this workout can also be done with a pair of the dumbbell. To accomplish this exercise properly, athletes usually lay on the bench and presses the weight from the chest upward and downward.

This physical activity is a very famous workout for chest muscles. Perhaps pushups and bench press are those exercises that people love to perform to improve the chest’s strength and size.

What is bench press and why it is best exercise?
Photo by Frame Kings from Pexels

There are many sports where bench press is included as a competition based game. The barbell b-press is part of three lifts in powerlifting competitions. These three lifts are barbell bench press, deadlift, and squat. Weight lifting is probably the only exercise that athletes perform in a paralympic powerlifting competition.

Paralympic powerlifting competition consists of athletes with some kinds of disabilities.

The b-press is the major workout that bodybuilders perform for upper body gain. Here in this article, we will serve the post mortem of the bench press. You will get a lot of information in this article about this famous exercise.

Bench press Types

There are many varieties in bench press work out. Some famous types that people performed at the gym are mentioned below.

Barbell bench press

What is bench press and why it is best exercise?
image courtesy Pexels

The barbell b-press is performed with a barbell, weight plates, and a flat bench. A barbell is a strong rod that athletes use to lift the weight plates. B-press is the most common exercise that people do at the gym.

Almost every gym freak loves it. 

Most people at the gym start the chest day workout with a flat regular bench press. 

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Many also make a bet on this game. 

A flat barbell bench press is a very effective exercise for building a solid and big chest. The primary muscles target of this workout is the pectoral and triceps brachii muscles. While front deltoid, traps, and back are secondary focused muscles by this exercise.

How to perform barbell flat bench press

You need to find a robust barbell, two weight plates, and a flat gym bench for this exercise. To start it, put the barbell along with weight plates on the stand of the bench. Lie flat on the bench, and fix both feet on the floor.

Keeping your feet on the floor will support you while performing the bench press. Not putting both feet on the floor may increase the risk of a gym accident; that is what you may need to take in mind while performing this workout.

After doing all of that, now make a grip on both rings of the barbell. Almost all barbell rods have ring shape signs. Two rings are present on the barbell—one for wide grip bench press and one for narrow grip bench press.

You can also choose the grip part that suits you better. Wide grip barbell bench press is the simple and true bench press variant, so be sure your both hands grips are not so near each other.

After that, take a good breath and lift the barbell from the bench rack. Keep it a bit higher now; lower it towards the chest. Don’t use gravity power in lowering the barbell. Use your strength and lower the barbell near your chest nipples line.

Now slightly lift the barbell away from the chest, towards the ceiling. It does not mean you need to throw the barbell with your best. But just push it slowly towards the starting position. When the barbell reaches the initial position, then your one rep will be completed. Do as many reps as you want by following this procedure. 12 to 15 repetitions can be the best option.

Wide grip flat bench press

The wide grip bench press is a variation of a regular flat bench press. In this exercise, athletes use more wide grip than standard lifts. This workpout improves the strength of pec muscles.

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Strong pec muscles boost the lifting power of the chest. WG bench press also targets triceps and shoulder muscles.

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How to perform the wide grip bench press

Lay on the bench, and your feet must be on the ground. Grab the barbell with maximum suitable grip. Unracked the barbell. Now barbell is in your hands; that is the starting position. Lower the barbell with weight towards the base of the chest by using your strength. After it reaches the line of chest nipples, lift it again upwards and repeat the process.

Barbell narrow grip flat bench press

A narrow grip flat bench is a type of bench press exercise. It is an impressive exercise that can give you strong triceps along with improving chest and shoulder muscles. Remember, too much narrow grip can put high stress on your shoulder muscles, increasing the risks of injury.

How to perform narrow grip flat bench press

Performing method of narrow grip flat press is just like wide grip flat bench press. Lay on the bench with both feet on the floor and lift the barbell by fixing your grip on the rod. As the name shows, you need to make a narrow grip to perform this exercise. Process of this workout is the same as a wide grip. After lifting the barbell, lower the barbell towards the chest base and slowly lift it away from the chest to the starting position. That is the one rep and do some more for muscle benefits.

Decline bench press

The decline bench press is like the flat bench press, but in this variation, the bench is set at 15 to 30 degrees or on a decline position. Decline bench press mostly targets the lower chest muscles. Our upper chest goes downwards and lowers face the effects of weight during this workout.

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Decline bench press improves the visibility of the chest line and makes pec muscles strong. It will be good for you if you have a friend or gym instructor while performing this exercise.

Lifting heavy weight during the decline b-press is very risky. You may get a serious injury if you try to lift more weight than your strength. It is because while performing it, your head straightly comes under the reach of the barbell.

How to perform a decline bench press

Set the bench at a 15 to 30-degree decline position. To perform it, lay on the decline bench and lift the barbell or dumbbells with both hands. Use regular grip if you are using barbells, and lift the barbell gently by using your strength.

Now lower the barbell towards your mid-chest. After reaching the target, lift the barbell to starting position and do more reps. 12 reps of 3 sets are impressive.

Incline bench press

Incline bench is a different variation of the bench as compared to that which is used in regular b-press. In this Incline b-press, the bench is used to perform the exercise. This workout is also very famous, and peoples like to perform it at the gym or in competitions. The incline bench press mostly targets upper pecs. It improves and makes upper pectoral muscles strong.

This exercise also affects the shoulders as it has some rules of shoulder press. A pair of dumbbells can also perform the incline b-press.

How to perform the incline bench press

Lay on the incline bench that should be at a 45-degree angle. Put your feet on the floor. Your feet will also support you during the lift, so do not lift them while performing the b-press.

Make shoulder-width apart grip and lift the rod from the bench rack. Just like other variations, lower the weight towards your chest nipples, and after that, lift the rod gently away to starting position and repeat reps as you want.

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Risks

Bench press also has injury risks. Labral and pec tears are common in gyms due to b-press. Perhaps pectoral tear is the sun injury risk of bench press. Moreover, shoulder and biceps-related injuries are associated with bench presses variants or workouts. Injuries during this workout mostly happened due to a person’s own mistakes.

Lifting heavy and bad lifting methods in the bench press is the main contributor in muscles related injuries. (1)

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Random Tips

1. Don’t be in a hurry. Never use speed in this exercise. Lift and lower the barbell with slow speed by using your strength (not gravity).

2. Do not lift too much heavyweight. Know your limit. Everybody has a limit. Lift a moderate weight that you can put on the bench stand after performing the b-press.

3. Prefer to do the workout with your friend that may be useful for you during exercise.

4. Do not use weak barbells that have risks of breakage during the workout.

5. If you have a gym instructor, then do this exercise with that person’s guide.

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6. Always protect your head and throat while performing the bench press. Call for help if you lose strength during work out.

7. You can make your weight lifting workout safer by doing exercise along with friends.

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Author

Sarfraz
Sarfraz
Sarfraz is a 26-year-old writer. He loves to read and write. These are his best hobbies. Sarfraz is an experienced nutritionist & fitness trainer. Mostly he writes on health or fitness-related topics. His best friend is his brother Dr. Omer (MBBS) who reviews his articles. HERE IS EMAIL If you want to contact him: sarfraz@address4health.com
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