Bench presses are an exercise that can be used to tone the muscles of the upper body, including the pectorals, arms, and shoulders.
Depending on your goals, there are different variations of bench presses that work slightly different muscles, too. For example, a narrower grip bench press also works the triceps and forearms.
Other benefits of adding bench presses to your weight-training regimen include increasing upper body strength, improving muscular endurance, and even preparing your upper body to do movements like pushups. They also can be an effective strengthening exercise for sports like sprinting, hockey, and football.
How to perform the Bench Press
Equipment needed: barbell (additional weights optional), flat bench
1. Lie on your back on a flat bench. Grip a barbell with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
2. Press your feet firmly into the ground and keep your hips on the bench throughout the entire movement.
3. Slowly lift bar off rack, if using, and lower the bar to the chest, allowing elbows to bend out to the side.
4. Stop lowering when elbows are just below the bench. Press feet into the floor as you push the bar back up to return to starting position.
5. Perform the desired reps, depending on weight used. Perform the desired sets.
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