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12 Best Benefits of a Bench Workout

This article will take you through the best benefits of a bench workout along with some examples of which bench workouts you should do.

Food, shelter, and clothing have always been said to be the basic needs of man. This often makes us forget how important physical exercise is to humans. Exercise proves to be the spine that holds our body and mind together.

Hence, exercise is considered one of our most important basic needs. Being physically active helps to keep our weight under control, reduces pain increases the range of motion in our everyday activities, and fixes our immunity so that we can fight against multiple diseases.

Exercise enthusiasts mostly train their arm and leg muscles but they often forget to train their chest muscles, especially women. These muscles act as a framework of our entire body, as they support everything in the upper body. They are the most important when it comes to supporting the back muscles. A human chest consists of a few of the largest muscles in the human body.

Moreover, these muscles are used in activities that we perform the entire day. As it is one of the most used muscles in the human body, it becomes essential to train it. To train these muscles, resistance training 1is the best option.

Lifting weights like dumbbells and barbells is the best way to train your upper limbs. Even some bodyweight exercises can prove effective for the same. For the past many years, the most popular chest workout has always been the bench press workout.

Some of the most advantageous and most used chest exercises are as follows:

1. The Flat Barbell Bench Press

How To: Barbell Bench Press

  • Start by lying in a flat position on a flat workout bench, set at zero degrees.
  • Grab a barbell of whatever weight is comfortable above yourself with your arms in a straight line, in the middle area of your chest.
  • Grip the bar a bit wider than your shoulder width.
  • Take a deep breath in while slowly lowering the bar towards yourself and then push the bar up with all your force while breathing out.
  • Perform more than one rep or as instructed by your fitness instructor.

Bench workout comes with numerous advantages which we will be discussing in a further section.

2. The Incline Barbell Bench Press

How To: Barbell Incline Chest Press

  • Start by lying on your back on an inclined bench, set at 20 degrees.
  • Grab a barbell of whatever weight you are comfortable with and fully extend it above yourself with your arms, in the upper area of your chest.
  • Grip the bar at a width that is comfortable for you and start to slowly bend your arms.
  • Slowly lower the bar towards your chest while breathing in, and then push the weight up with all your force while breathing out.
  • Perform more than one rep or as instructed by your fitness instructor.

3. The Chest Press Machine

  • The starting position of this exercise is to sit on the seat of the machine with your spine straight.
  • Place one hand on each handle of the machine straight in front of you at 90 degrees.
  • Maintain a neutral wrist position and make sure that both wrists are in the same position.
  • Keep your legs flat on the ground with your knees slightly bent.
  • Push the weight with all your force until your arms are fully extended and then come back to the starting position.
  • Repeat this for as many repetitions as possible or as instructed by your fitness instructor.

4. The Pec Deck Machine

  • This machine uses vertical force instead of horizontal force to train the chest muscles.
  • Sit in an upright position at 90 degrees and rest your back on the back of the seat.
  • With your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent, hold the handles with your palms facing each other and elbows with a slight bend, on either side of you.
  • Pull both handles towards the middle with all your power and then release slowly to come back to the original position.
  • Repeat this for as many repetitions as possible or as instructed by your trainer.

5. Cable Chest Flys

How To: High Cable Chest Fly

  • This exercise uses vertical force as well.
  • Start by standing in a neutral position and grip the two handles of the two cables on either side of you.
  • Bring your right leg or left leg in front of you and press it toward the ground.
  • In a slightly bent position by leaning forward, bring both your hands together by pulling both handles towards the middle.
  • Repeat for more than one rep.

6. The Traditional Push-Up

  • The starting position of this exercise is a high-plank position.
  • Place both your palms and feet shoulder-width apart on the ground, completely straight.
  • Take a grip slightly wider than your shoulders while keeping your legs straight and do not bend your knees.
  • Engage your glutes keep your core tight, and lower your body towards the ground.
  • Slowly lower your body till you feel the squeeze in your shoulders and upper back.
  • Lift your body back to bring it into the starting position and repeat for as many reps as possible. g. The wider-grip push-up is similar to the traditional pushup except for the fact that it has a wider grip.
  • Another two variations of this are the incline and decline pushups.
  • The incline pushups are performed by placing your hands on something higher, while the decline pushups are performed by placing your feet on something higher.

Other Upper Budy Exercises

The above exercises are some of the most important exercises to train your pectoralis major2, pectoralis minor, and latissimus dorsi3 along with your trapezius, posterior and anterior deltoids, and core muscles. The incline dumbbell bench press and the flat dumbbell bench press are two important exercises that are similar to the barbell bench presses.

While the bench workout is mostly done for training the pectoral muscles4, a lot of different exercises can be performed using the bench along with some weights and multiple other muscles can be trained. Core work plays a huge part in these exercises too. Some of the other exercises that can be done using just a bench that works the upper body are as follows:

  1. Seated shoulder press.
  2. Seated lateral shoulder raise.
  3. Lying tricep extensions.
  4. Skull crushers.
  5. Seated bicep curls.
  6. Dumbbell row

All these exercises prove to be immensely effective in training your upper body and possess many benefits.

12 Benefits of Bench Workouts

1. Improves Posture

The bench press and other bench workouts help strengthen the back muscles as well as the shoulders. This in turn helps in stabilizing the shoulder joint thus improving one’s posture.

Having a good posture is so important as it reduces the unnecessary stress on one’s muscles and prevents them from overworking. It also prevents one from unnecessary pain.

2. Promotes Better Breathing

Bench workouts include lifting weights, which in turn will promote muscle growth. Proper muscle growth will help in increasing the blood flow in the cardiac blood vessels. This will improve the blood circulation rate and promote better breathing.

Also, exercise causes the lengthening of muscles which helps in better breathing too.

3. Burns More Calories

Bench workout trains your upper frontal body muscles. And this is one of the most effective ways of burning more calories.

4. Strengthens Bones

Calcium is the most important element that keeps our bones intact. Any form of movement helps in the retention of more calcium.

Bench workout comprising of lifting heavier might seem difficult but it builds up more calcium in the body, thereby strengthening the bones.

5. Increases Endurance

Training your upper limbs leads to an improvement in endurance. This results in improving the ability of your muscles to go on for longer periods without fatigue. Bench workout is one way of training your upper limbs. You can increase your muscle endurance by doing more reps.

6. Increases Muscle Mass

Bench workout coupled with lifting heavier weights results in the growth of your muscles. Our muscles grow when we shock the muscles (the act of doing an activity that your muscles aren’t used to) which causes hypertrophy.

7. Fixes Muscle Imbalances

Our shoulders are directly responsible for many activities of our arms. Weight training helps in building strength, stability, flexibility, and mobility in these shoulders and surrounding body parts.

These in turn help the body to balance any imbalances in our muscles by enabling the actions like more support, full extension, and the ability to lift our arms over the head.

8. Helps Strengthen Core

The core is the foundation of real strength in the human body. Everyday actions like running, walking, standing, working out, and even sitting, require core work. Hence, performing core exercises that train the upper, side as well as lower abs becomes essential for that purpose.

While performing weight benches, we are required to keep our core tight at all times. This simple action results in core strengthening that doesn’t primarily target the core.

9. Boosts Sports/Athletic Performance

You are required to perform bench workouts if you want to boost your sports performance or your athletic skill.

The movements of the legs are also required to perform compound exercises. To boost athletic performance, the most important muscle to train is our legs to enhance speed and agility.

But bodyweight exercises like push-ups and pull-ups can also be performed from one’s home gym. These exercises build the strength, endurance, and speed required for boosting athletic performance.

10. A Lot of  Variations to Choose From

The bench workout themselves possess a lot of variations. There are a variety of exercises that can be performed using dumbbells and a flat bench.

11. Trains the Full Body

Not only just the upper thing but the bench workout also helps in training the lower body.

To lift weights, be it bending or squatting down, lifting dumbbells with one arm or both arms straight above the head, hurrying forward to do a hyperextension, pulling something to train the upper back, or lifting the entire body weight on one leg or both, working off the whole body is required.

So, as these movements make the use of the left foot, right foot, left and right arms, lower and upper arms, lower and upper back, basically everything, it trains all the muscles in our body.

12. Mental Health Benefits

Any movement of any form done at any given time will only benefit our mental health.

Regular physical exercise has been proven to boost our mood and improve our sleep quality. The better we let our organs rest and recover, the better our mood will be.

Key Takeaways

Thus bench workout is a must if you want to strengthen the chest muscles. These muscles often get neglected but for a strengthened body structure focus must be distributed accordingly.

We have discussed the various types of chest workouts and we have also shared the benefits one can get from bench workouts.

Overall, there are numerous ways to benefit from all this by using various equipment or using no equipment at all. Regular movement improves the quality of one’s life by uplifting one’s mood and granting them some physical gains.

FAQs

1. How can I perform a bench routine?

Ans. One can follow this suggested bench routine:

  • 3 sets of 5 repetitions with 85% of 1RM (block periodization style)
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Cable or Machine Flye: 3 sets of 12 repetitions
  • Push-ups: 2 sets of as many reps as possible

2. Do bodybuilders perform benches?

Ans. Yes, bodybuilders perform benches to improve and reach their goals.

3. Can I do a bench every day?

Ans. Yes, you can do bench every day if your goal is to improve your technique.

Best 8 Effective Bench Workout Alternatives
Icy Health
  1. Hunter, Gary R., John P. McCarthy, and Marcas M. Bamman. “Effects of resistance training on older adults.” Sports medicine 34 (2004): 329-348. ↩︎
  2. Schanke, Whitnee. Electromyographical analysis of the pectoralis major muscle during various chest exercises. Diss. 2012. ↩︎
  3. Bostwick III, John, et al. “Sixty latissimus dorsi flaps.” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 63.1 (1979): 31-41. ↩︎
  4. Estenne, Marc, et al. “The Effect of Pectoralis Muscle Training in Tetraplegic Subjects1-3.” (1989). ↩︎

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