Enhancing Skills

Bench press

Talk to your doctor.  Caution and common sense should be used...as these are my experiences, and my unique situations.  They may work for you or they may not.  You may have different results.  Please read our disclaimer.

Type:

Exercise

Equipment:

Barbell

The bench press is a classic compound exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and triceps. It involves lying on a flat bench and pressing a barbell away from your chest while maintaining a stable and controlled position.

Possible Stretches to do prior to exercise:

  • Chest stretches
  • Shoulder stretches
  • Arm circles

Warmups to do prior to exercise:

  • Perform light cardio exercises like jogging or jumping jacks to increase blood flow and warm up the body.
  • Do some dynamic stretches for the upper body, such as arm swings or shoulder rotations.

How to select the proper weight: Choose a weight that challenges your muscles while allowing you to maintain proper form and control throughout the exercise. Start with a lighter weight if you’re new to the exercise and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable and stronger. The weight should not compromise your form or put excessive strain on your joints.

Proper form:

  1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet planted firmly on the ground and your lower back pressed against the bench.
  2. Position yourself under the barbell, ensuring it is aligned with your eyes and your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Grip the barbell with an overhand grip, hands positioned just outside shoulder-width.
  4. Unrack the barbell, straighten your arms, and hold the weight directly above your chest with your elbows locked.
  5. Inhale and lower the barbell in a controlled manner towards your chest, keeping your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body.
  6. Pause briefly when the barbell touches your chest, maintaining tension in your chest muscles.
  7. Exhale and push the barbell back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
  8. Repeat the movement for the prescribed number of reps.

How to reduce the difficulty: To make the exercise easier, you can:

  • Use a lighter weight or no weight at all, focusing on mastering the movement and maintaining proper form.
  • Use dumbbells instead of a barbell, allowing for more individual arm control and less strain on the shoulders.
  • Perform the exercise with a spotter or use a bench press machine that provides additional support.

How to increase difficulty: To make the exercise more challenging, you can:

  • Increase the weight you’re using, either by adding more weight plates to the barbell or using a heavier barbell.
  • Perform the exercise on an incline or decline bench to target different areas of the chest.
  • Use resistance bands or chains to add variable resistance and increase the load at the top portion of the movement.

Reps:

  • Beginner: 8-12 reps
  • Intermediate: 12-15 reps
  • Advanced: 15-20 reps

Estimated time for exercise: 10-15 minutes

Body Group:

Chest

Muscle Group(s):

Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Muscles used:

Primary:

Pectoralis Major

Secondary:

Deltoids (Anterior), Triceps Brachii

Tertiary:

N/A

Difficulty:

Beginner

Talk to your doctor.  Caution and common sense should be used...as these are my experiences, and my unique situations.  They may work for you or they may not.  You may have different results.  Please read our disclaimer.


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