Bench press is an excellent form of exercise for upper body training. It trains the chest and shoulder muscles. The major muscles of the body including pectorals, deltoids, and triceps and also the secondary muscles are trained when bench press is done with continuous and varied movements with weights. There are different kinds of bench press are performed by the body builders for upper body training including incline bench press, decline bench press, flat bench press, reverse grip bench press, conventional bench press, bamboo bench press etc. Bench press can either be done using a barbell or with a set of dumbbells. The bench press done with barbell is barbell bench press and that with dumbbells is a dumbbell bench press. However the modern way of performing bench press is on a Smith machine. In bench press with Smith machine the exercise is performed by lowering and raising the barbell that is restricted between the steel runners.
Whatever be the type of bench press, it is very important to perform it with proper techniques and methods to ensure that the top level safety and best results are achieved. Following are some of most important things one needs to focus on for performing bench press to ensure healthy shoulders and longevity.
Select the Right Equipment
To perform bench press safely and most accurately, the basic and most important thing one should consider is equipment. Depending on training requirements and experience in performing the exercise, one should rightly select the equipment for best results. For example if the trainer is just beginner he can go with barbell with light weight initially and then eventually add up the weights for much intense muscle training as the convenience grows.
Have a Spotter for Help
Secondly while performing a bench press, especially the barbell bench press it is very important to have a spotter for help because this will ensure safety from accidents often resulting due to weights mishandling or falling.
Warm Up Before Bench Press
You need to prepare your body for training. For this trainer should perform some basic warm up and stretch up exercises initially before performing the bench press. With start-up exercises upper body will get loosened and ready for the training.
Proper Posture is Very Important
The position really matters. Right position will ensure that the exercise is performed to the best and with proper safety. It is very important to position the legs flat and at 90 degrees to the floor during the lifts. Moreover a tight grip on the weight at all times is important because a tighter grip creates more tension in the lower arms, upper back and chest. Keep your chest up throughout the movement. Make sure that you do not arch your back as you press the bar up because this will decrease the effectiveness of the exercise.
Once you have set proper posture and started training, you will feel stress in your upper body parts especially the shoulders and chest. Once you get comfortable with the bench press, slowly increase the difficulty of your routine. Try out different forms of bench press performed alternately. For example initially start up with flat bench press, then do a set of incline presses followed by a set of decline presses. This will give your muscles the best movement and training for strength. Never forget to use a spotter for safety.