Bench press is an upper body exercise designed to work on the pectoralis major muscle as well as its supporting muscles. It is extensively used in weight training, bodybuilding and in working on chest. To perform this exercise, you need to lie on your back, take up a weight to chest level and raise it until the arms are straight, again lower the weight and repeat.
There are many variations of bench press, each focusing on different sets of muscles or the same muscles in many possible ways. The evolution of bench press has went through floor, bridge and belly toss. The barbell press, one such variation is worked out in power lifting. Some of the important and useful tips of bench press types and methods are described:
- Flat Bench– Focuses on both portions of Pectoralis major. Since you lie horizontal in a bench press, flat bench is the most common bench press.
- Incline Bench Press– As the name suggest it is carried out on an inclined bench mainly focusing on the development of the upper or head of pectoral muscles. A decline bench press, doing the opposite, focuses on lower pectoral muscle.
- Reverse Grip Bench – Having an underhand grip on the bar, is a comfortable position for lifting. It again focuses on pectoral but more as compared to incline bench.
- Wide hand spacing and narrow hand spacing bench- Focusing on the usage of triceps in lifting.
- Guillotine Press– If you lower the bar to your neck, it is known as guillotine press.
- Equipped Bench Press– It’s not actually a variation of the exercise but about the equipment you use to perform it. Here, the equipment is nothing but a shirt. A supportive shirt allows you to lift greater weight. Difference in records can be seen clearly between an equipped and non equipped bench press.
You can make variations yourself to your bench press depending on the difficulty of lifting. Chains and bands are used to improve your power for doing bench presses.
When it comes to lifting hundreds of pounds of weight, lying on a bar directly above your chest, the possibilities of getting injuries increase a lot. Some of the injuries that can happen to you are:
- Ligaments injury
- Wrist strains
- Hernias, due to more weight
- Death due to being trapped under the bar
The injuries occurring during bench press are very fatal and you should take care that you work out clean without any injury and thereby the following information will help you on the areas you should take care.
How to develop bench press?
When you do bench press, you use your pectoralis major muscle and two others to keep your shoulder horizontal. Thus, improve their strength and endurance. Wider hand spacing and narrow hand spacing develops different muscles.
Wider hand spacing develops pectorals whereas the later one develops your triceps. Not just major muscles, but also other supporting and core muscles are used in a bench press.
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