Bench press is a powerful upper body exercise that proves to be beneficial in gaining strength especially for the individual performing it. It is a weight lifting exercise that emphasises on upper body muscles. Any person keen on gaining upper body strength ought to perform this exercise due to its immediate and advantageous effects.
Bench press workouts strengthen the chest muscles and provide rock like stability to the upper body. It also works the pectoral muscles, shoulders, triceps, upper abs muscles, shoulder blades and upper back muscles as well. Bench press is one of the very few exercises that work out a major portion of the body.
HOW IS THE BENCH PRESS WORKOUT DONE?
The bench press workout requires a bench where the upper body is placed. The back rests on the bench while the legs are firmly placed on the ground providing support or balance. A double sided weight is held by an individual using both hands. Once the grip is firm, the person raises the bar up while maintaining the same position. Only the arms move and the rest of the body stays stable. The arms go up and down several times with the weight. Weights may differ according to the size, ability and strength of the person performing. The lower back is completely taken out of the equation while performing the bench press exercise.
The flat bench press is a very effective exercise but, it must never be performed without assistance or guidance. An individual trying to do a bench press workout must always have a partner to control the weight of the barbell. Without assistance, the weight may fall right on a person’s chest, throat or face causing severe damage and even lead to death.
Avoid picking up weights that are too heavy for you. You might end up tearing pectoral muscles or may dislocate your shoulder in the process. It is necessary to challenge yourself in limited progressions to get effective results without threatening your safety.
BENCH PRESS WORKOUT BENEFITS
Athletes, body builders, weight lifters etc. all have the bench press exercise fixed in their workout regime. The upper body is the key to the horsepower produced by the entire body; moreover, a strong upper body ensures better balance and stability. The actual benefits of a flat bench press are uncountable, but some of the major benefits of performing a bench press workout are mentioned below:
1) Strength and power
The more you use your weight during the workout, the more will be your strength. There is no better exercise than the flat bench press that requires and works the maximum weight of your upper body. Once strength is developed, you can always increase the intensity and challenge yourself to increase your power. Do more lifts in a fixed duration of time or increase the weight of the barbell. This will shoot up the level of power you have in your body. Bench press exercise doesn’t need any variations. With such simplicity, great results can be achieved. The best thing is that you can innovate or design your own regime due to the extremely simple nature of the bench press workout.
2) Build muscle
It’s no secret that if you work your muscles, they tend to grow bigger. Bench press exercise is a unique way to increase the width, size and circumference of your chest. A bigger chest makes a man look more attractive and it also exhibits an assertive personality. Flat bench press works your chest, shoulder blades, back wings and triceps which eventually leads to bigger muscles. The upper body width increases and a strong chest is developed in the process. Regular bench press workout can show you massive results in a short period of time.
3) Burns fat
The more physical activity you get involved in, lesser will be the number of calories in your body. But, apart from regular exercise, intensity also plays a major role in reducing fats. Intense exercises push your muscles to a limit. The body has to use fats to provide adequate energy to meet the energy demands for the activity. Brisk walking is more effective than simply walking because the former has more intensity. Bench press workouts work every muscle in your upper body from the neck to your waist. Moreover, because you are lifting weight while lying on your back, the intensity multiplies by many times which forces the body not only to burn calories, but also to use fats to generate enough energy. The whole process eventually leads to reduced fat in the body.
4) Improve bone density
Bones, like muscles, grow stronger when worked out. Muscles grow bigger but bones do not. Instead, bones literally expand while working out. This gives an opportunity to the bone cells and bone tissues to grow within the bone. Their growth leads to an increase in bone density. Bone density is directly related to a very strong skeletal structure. The bench press exercise works the bones of the chest, ribs, arms, forearms, neck and back. Since the intensity and utility of all these bones is immense, this exercise actually helps in increasing bone density at a quick pace.
5) Good for joints
Shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and neck are joints that are worked out heavily during a bench press workout. Joints are very important parts of the body. If a joint is not functioning well, the entire part of the body is literally of no use. While doing a flat bench press all these joints in the upper body is put under pressure. Sustained but safe pressure makes them stronger and they can resist more.
BENCH PRESS WORKOUT FOR BEGINNERS
Beginners may be excited to try this exceptional workout method and they might try something that they are not capable of. The trick for doing a bench press exercise very well lies in the basics. If your basics are correct, only then can you proceed to tougher and better variations. Jotted below are some methods that will be helpful for beginners who want to perform a bench press workout:
#1. Flat barbell bench press
This is the most basic of all bench press exercises. Lie down on the equipment table. Using both hands, pick up a really light weight that you can easily handle. The weight must have some pressure on your arms and chest though. Now simply lift it up and bring it back down several times. The purpose of this is to get the technique right. Expertise in technique can eliminate any chance of injury.
#2. Close grip bench press
Keeping a close grip on the barbell bar will accustom you to the weight and will also improve your judgment of weight. A close grip gives you better control over the barbell and also enables a stable and firm hold. By doing a bench press workout with a close grip you can avoid chances of injury while learning the basics. At the least, close grip bench press will make your muscles strong enough to sport a wider grip.
#3. Dumbbell floor press
This is another basic exercise for people who are finding it difficult to either lie on the equipment, or perform the exercise, or finding it difficult to manage weights. A person must lie down on the floor facing the ceiling. The legs can be folded from the knee or can be rested; kept perfectly straight. Instead of using one big barbell, a person must use two dumbbells. First variation is to life the weight of one hand while the other rests and only gets lifted when the former is going to rest (alternate lifts). Second variation is to use both hands to lift at the same time.
#4. Front shoulder press
This is a relatively easier exercise than a normal flat bench press. Sit up while your feet touch the floor. Pick up a barbell and in an erect position, life it up and bring it down multiple times. The intensity on the torso is minimal as you are in a sitting position. This exercise is a superb alternative to people who find it difficult to lie down and perform a bench press workout.
HOW TO GET IT RIGHT?
We have a few bench press tips that will ensure you perform the exercises appropriately:-
- Always keep a wide grip so that when you bring the barbell down, your elbows have enough space to do down your ribs.
- Gradual progress is safe while including unbearable weights are most dangerous.
- Divide your plan into sets.
- Drink lots of water between sets.
- Wipe off sweat, take a small walk and loosen up between sets.
- Always request a partner to help you, if you are going out of your regular weight lifting capacity.
We hope that you do try out these are basic and simple bench press workout plan and stay fit as well as safe!