Lying on a bench, feet firmly on the ground, lower back slightly arched, hands spaced a width greater than that of the shoulders, it is a question of pushing (extension of the arms) the bar after it has come into contact with your pectorals.
It is good to note that as with all chest exercises, your rib cage should be “out”. You should never find yourself flat.
Main: pectorals, shoulders (anterior bundles), triceps
Secondary: latissimus dorsi, teres major, trapezius, biceps (short head)
Depending on where you bring the bar on the pectorals, higher or lower, the exercise will localize the work differently to the different bundles of the pectoralis major. For example, by lowering the bar to the top of the pectorals, the clavicular bundle will be worked more to the detriment of the other bundles.
Interest of the bench press
The bench press is arguably the most popular weight training exercise in the world, and it’s not without reason. Its “excessive” practice generally gives excellent results on the entire anterior part of the trunk and not just on the pectorals.
However, depending on the body type, the exercise can localize the work on the shoulders and triceps to the detriment of the pectorals. In this case, you will have to try other exercises for the pectorals, because it must be said: “the bench press, like all weight training exercises, is not irreplaceable! “. As a substitute exercise that works well you have the dumbbell press or the dumbbell spread.
We can also add that this exercise is also of great interest from an aesthetic point of view, especially among young people.
Bench press variants
The exercise can be performed with a Smith machine in order to make the exercise safer, but which forces you to have a fixed trajectory with its advantages and disadvantages. It may have worked by changing your takes. The tighter the grip, the more you will favor the work of the triceps. If you work in wide grip you will promote the work of the anterior deltoid.
Danger / contraindication to bench press
Be careful not to transform the exercise into a declined press by lifting the buttocks off and bringing the bar under the pecs.
Besides the slightest muscle strain on the pecs as a whole, your lower back may not appreciate the extreme arch it causes.