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The bench press: the king exercises the chest muscles

 The bench press: the king exercises the chest muscles

Do you want to get started in bodybuilding, but you don't know which exercise to start with? The bench press is an exercise that should interest you. In fact, in addition to being very popular, this bodybuilding exercise is very technical. Before practicing it, it will be useful to know how it works, the muscles that allow it to work, as well as knowing its variables. to focus!

What is a bench press machine?

A bench press is also known as a bench press. Very popular, it is a chest bodybuilding exercise that can be practiced by both men and women. The bench press is a strength exercise that consists of lifting a load at the level of the rib cage while lying down. It is part of the weightlifting movements along with the squat and deadlift.

Allowing you to work with heavy loads, the bench press is a highly effective exercise for building muscle mass. It is a standard exercise for building chest muscles, especially the major chest muscles. So it's no surprise to find bench press exercise in almost all gyms.

Muscle worked

The bench press is a fairly complete bodybuilding exercise. In fact, it touches a large part of the muscles in your body. However, this is an exercise that primarily targets the pecs.

By performing this movement, you will be able to work out both the big and the small chest. In addition to the chest muscles, push-ups also work other muscles such as the triceps and the anterior deltoids.

Barbell bench press vs. dumbbells

The bench press is an exercise that can be performed in its classic version with a barbell, but also in other forms. These allow the practitioner to target different parts of the chest. Among these variants we find in particular the bench press with dumbbells.

To perform the classic bench press, the exerciser must first get into a bench press position. To do this, he must lie on a bench so that he can lift a bar loaded with a weight located just above his head. Once he makes sure his feet are firmly planted on the ground and his stomach muscles engaged, he can move on to the next step. It consists of the practitioner lowering the bar until it touches his torso and then raising it to the starting position.

During the movement, the athlete's hands should be prone (palms toward the feet) and generally separated by a distance greater than shoulder width. He should bend his legs and then fold them back so

 that the lower back muscles stick to the seat. He must then undo the tape from the supports holding him and immobilize his outstretched arms. He must finally slowly lower the load until it catches his chest. Once that is done, he will have to clamp it down and repeat the movement 3 to 15 times. While descending, the practitioner should inhale while ascending he should exhale.

It is important to specify that to use loads, the practitioner must have one or more assistants that must be positioned at the level of their head or at the end of the bar. Their role is to help the practitioner raise the bar if they are no longer able to do so. In a weightlifting competition, bench press is allowed with a barbell. During these competitions, practitioners strive to lift the heaviest possible load in one series. The best practitioners are those who manage to perform very well.

To achieve this, some wear support shirts which are clothing that proves to be performance enhancers. The current world record holder for men's bench press is Julius Maddox with a weight of 350 kg in 2020. For the women, Becca Swanson is the 272.5 kg holder in 2005. As for the bench press with

 dumbbells, she does not require the use of a bar. It's more effective than the classic bench press and allows you to work your chest muscles with a much greater range of motion. With this difference, you do not risk getting stuck with dumbbells. However, unlike a push-up with a bar, a device with dumbbells does not allow you to take very heavy loads.

How do you progress by improving your style?

There are several reasons why a practitioner may not progress in the bench press. It could be a lack of strength or poor execution of the movement. If this is the latter case, you will be glad to know that it is possible to advance by improving your work style.

To improve his technique of the bench press, the practitioner must take into account his anatomy and goals. Thus, if he simply wants to gain strength, he can for example pay attention to the position of his legs during movement. It is also possible to approach and follow the example of professionals in the field to improve your technique. For this purpose, it would be interesting to consult the Bench and Cigars YouTube channel.

bench press program ideas

It is also possible to apply to a bench press by developing an appropriate business programme. Thus, taking into account the level and goals of the practitioner, he can for example start his training session with the bench press at the bar for better balance and then move on to the dumbbell bench.

For bench press training, the practitioner has the choice between different programs. For example, he can follow a program of only 12 sessions of bench press or do another program of only 6 sessions. Whatever the program, it is recommended to perform a short series of 3-5 repetitions.


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