Ask any gym enthusiast why do they love doing bench press, and they will provide you with a long list of bench press benefits.
Seriously, trust us when we say that we are not making up anything on our own. One of the most popular forms of exercise, the bench press has been an extremely prominent workout form for both beginners and professionals alike because of the numerous beach press benefits.
Don’t believe us? Then keep on reading the article then and understand why we are talking so highly about bench press benefits then.
Top 10 Amazing Bench Press Benefits
Before we start about bench press benefits, we should have some information about the bench press first.
A. What is a bench press?
A bench press is a straightforward exercise but hard to perform. It is an upper-body weight training exercise where the trainee presses the weight upwards while lying on a weight training bench. Hence the name bench press.
The exercise involves a wide range of stabilizing muscles, including the pectoralis major, the anterior deltoids, and the triceps.
Usually, a bench press involves a barbell to hold the weight, but dumbells can also be used in their place. However, that being said, the barbell is generally preferred over dumbells because it can hold a lot of weight and is comparatively more stable.
Did you know the barbell bench press is one of the lifts in powerlifting and deadlift and squat? And also another fact, it is the only lift used in the sport of Paralympic Olympics. The bench press is extensively used in weight training, bodybuilding, and other types of training to build up your chest muscles.
B. How to do a bench press?
As already said, the bench press is a straightforward exercise. You do not have to do much.
- Lie flat on your back on a bench.
- Grip the bar with your hands, keeping them at shoulder-width apart. Keeping them at such a distance is essential to provide the maximum force generation.
- Push the barbell above your head.
- Bring down the bar slowly to your chest as you slowly draw in a breath.
- Push the bar up as you breathe out and continue to repeat the process.
C. Variations of bench press
There are four variations to the bench press work out. It is generally differentiated according to the muscle on which it works.
- Traditional bench press- This bench press involves laying down on a flat bench and pressing the barbell up and down at chest height. It works on pectoral muscles, arms, and shoulders.
- Incline bench press- The front of the bench is angled between 45 and 60 degrees. Its targets are the upper chest and shoulder.
- Decline bench press- The bench is angled in such a way that your feet are at a higher position than your head. It works on the lower chest muscle and shoulders.
- Narrow grip bench press- In this variation, arms are narrowed on the barbell. It works on the triceps and forearms.
Now that we have gained some knowledge about bench press let us now look at the bench press benefits.
D. Bench press benefits
The presses are a time tested weight lifting exercise that people have been engaging through hundreds of years. With abundant health benefits, you do not need to be a Hercules to do a bench press. One can be a beginner and can still enjoy all the bench press benefits.
1. Upper body strength manifolds
You could have easily guessed what is the biggest bench press benefits by now. Yes, it is increasing the upper body strength.
There could be no parallel to presses when it comes to strengthening your upper body muscles. Because in this exercise, you are on a stable and flat bench and exclusively focus on raising and lowering the bar.
The legs involved in the presses act as stabilizers, and therefore you can solely concentrate on your upper body. New fitness enthusiasts can also be extremely benefitted from this exercise.
According to a study published in a famous fitness brand journal, the strength of the shoulder muscles and other muscles involved in the upper body increases by 47% in just six months of doing this exercise.
2. Bigger and stronger pec muscles
We have no doubt when we see that presses are the most effective exercise when it comes to strength training your pec muscles. Pectoral muscles help in a range of motions by the shoulder joint. Both the major and minor pec muscles enjoy the benefits of bench exercises.
Major pec muscles are the one which mainly gets bigger and gives the body a more athletic look. However, on the other hand, minor pec may not be visible under the major pec, but it also increases in size and help in the efficient scapula downward rotation.
3. Improves bone health
Another biggest bench press benefit is that it enhances bone health. Lifting heavy weights during presses acts as a weight-bearing and resistance exercise which works against gravity. The resistance provided boosts the muscle activities, and the more you exercise, the more is the generation of new cells in the body.
4. Increases joint health
Presses help you with strengthening your cartilages’ health. As we grow older, our joint health can deteriorate for a variety of reasons like lack of exercise, severe ache, and conditions like osteoarthritis.
Cartilage is like a sponge with fluids inside it, which helps in the nourishment of the cartilage. This fluid needs to be replenished thoroughly so that it can support the cartilage and the worsening of the joint health does not occur.
5. Boosts hormones in the body
The hormones in our body get a major boost when we perform heavyweights.
According to a study, it has shown that presses exercise can boosts testosterone levels in men and can maintain proper hormonal balance in women.
The more hormones in the body, the more is muscle growth. It helps strengthen the muscles, toning them, and increases the physical definitions of the body.
6. Increased your upper body muscles’ strength
For any health and fitness enthusiast, the ultimate bench press benefits are that it acts as a functional exercise that works upon a lot of upper body muscles.
Not only the pectoral muscles are targeted, but presses also act upon the triceps, deltoid, abdominals, hand flexors, and shoulder muscles.
It is a single compound exercise that provides multifaceted benefits.
7. Increases grip strength
Increasing grip strength is one of the unique bench press benefits.
When we lift the bar, we have to squeeze it tightly to control our movements. These movements cause a movement in the arms known as irradiation. Irradiation, in turn, increases your grip strength in the long run.
8. Boosts athletic performance and burns calories
By working on the bigger sets of muscles, bench exercises help you in burning more calories as you work out. It helps you to get rid of the unwanted fat in the body and tone up the muscles.
On the other hand, did you know another bench press benefit is to have a better athletic posture? While we run or swim, maintaining a proper posture is extremely important. Bench presses help you to achieve that desired posture.
9. Prevent muscle imbalance
According to a study, it has been seen that strain is created on the joints due to muscle imbalance. With the help of presses exercise, you can easily tackle the situation and prevent it.
10. Look good, feel good
One of the best bench press benefits is the boost of self-confidence that this exercise provides.
Working bench and pursuing upper body strength is the perfect way to achieve that incredible athletic body shape that we all desire. It not only makes us stronger, but one can also feel more empowered and confident.
We all know bench presses can be categories into four different categories based upon the muscle group it works on. Therefore, each of these variations provides unique bench press benefits of its own by strengthening the muscles involved and enhancing their working capabilities.
E. Tips for Bench Press
To reap the maximum bench press benefits, there are certain tips that you should follow
- Make sure not to keep the bar over your neck or mouth region.
- The bar’s grip should be wide enough so that the elbow joints are at right angles and the forearms are in a perpendicular plane.
- Do not lock-out your elbows suddenly or explosively.
- Do not place the thumb behind bars or locked beneath the fingers.
- Keep your head flat on the bench and feet flat on the floor for stability. Do not push your head into the bench. Instead, firm up your neck muscles.
- Do not arch your back while lifting. It leads to lower back pain.
There are numerous bench press benefits that one can experience if they follow bench press rigorously. However, that being said, always perform these exercises under professional guidance and follow all instructions diligently. Now go on, include this amazing workout in your exercise regime and reap the benefits to their maximum.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.