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Thursday, October 06 2016

Bench Press

Bench Press

One of the all-time classic exercises is the bench press. This basic yet effective strength-building exercise works the major muscles of the pectorals and triceps; it's relatively easy to do; it can be performed with just a bench and barbells; and it's fun! Additionally, the bench press is used as a measure of strength in many fitness tests and evaluations. People love to see how much they can bench but like all exercises, it's best to use a weight that you can handle.

Best for: Building strength and mass in the muscles of your chest.

Recommended load: Depending upon your goals you can use a light, medium or heavy load.

Form:

  • Lie on a workout bench with your back flush to the bench.
  • Grasp the bench press bar with an overhand grip that is wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift the bar off the bench stand, slowly lower the bar until it is a couple inches away from your chest (just around the nipple line), and pause for a second.
  • Extend your arms fully to lift the bar from your chest, but do not lock out the elbow joint.

Cautions: Be sure to keep your back flat on the bench throughout the entire movement. Use a load that you can safely handle. Use a spotter for extra heavy loads.

Offset One-Arm Dumbbell Chest Press

Offset One-Arm Dumbbell Chest Press

If you would like the ultimate exercise to train the muscles of your chest and core at the same time (just like you do when you do push-ups), try a one-arm dumbbell chest press.

Best for: Endurance training while activating the muscles of your chest and core.

Recommended load: Depending upon your goals you can use a light or medium load.

Form:

  • Lay on a bench with your head, neck and one shoulder supported with your trunk and legs offset. Keep your feet flat with knees bent at 90 degrees and hips extended.
  • The arm that is supported by the bench will serve as an anchor while the other arm does the work.
  • Hold a dumbbell in one hand, close to your chest.
  • Extend the arm straight above you, in line with the middle of your chest.
  • Hold for one second and lower to starting position.
  • Repeat your repetitions with your right arm before moving to your left.

Cautions:
Be sure to keep your upper back, neck and head on the bench throughout the entire movement. Keep your body parallel to the floor by not letting your hips dip. Use a load that you can safely handle. Use a spotter for heavy loads.

Machine Chest Press

Machine Bench Press

One of the major benefits of the chest press machine is its availability and ease of use. Most fitness facilities are equipped with this machine. While you won’t get a core workout using the machine, you'll certainly train the muscles of your chest.

Best for: Building strength in the muscles of your chest.

Recommended load: Depending upon your goals you can use a light, medium or heavy load.

Form:

All chest press machines are slightly different, but in general:

  • Adjust the seat height so that the bar and handles are in line with the middle of your chest.
  • Grab a handle in each hand and press the bar away from you.
  • Extend your arms forward, while making sure to keep a slight bend in your elbows at the end of the move.
  • Hold for one second and lower the bar back to starting position.

Cautions:
Be sure to keep your back, neck and head on the seatback throughout the entire movement. Do not lock your elbows at the end of each repetition.

Franklin Antoian, Contributor, is an ACE-certified personal trainer, writer for Sears FitStudio.com and fitness expert for MangeMyLife.com.

Posted by: fitgal@befitgal.com AT 10:18 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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