The Bench Press involves lifting and lowering dumbbells or a barbell while lying on a bench. This exercise targets the pectoralis major muscles or the pectorals, the muscles which are located at the front of the chest. Aside from the pectorals, this exercise also works other muscles such as the triceps. Moreover, the Bench Press improves upper body strength.
As a safety guideline, keep your back flat on the bench as you focus on contracting your chest muscles. Remember to inhale while lowering the weight toward your chest, and exhale while pushing the weight upward.
The Bench Press can be done with the use of dumbbells or a barbell. In this section, learn how to do this exercise with dumbbells:
|STEP 1: Lie on the bench with your elbows bent and your feet on the floor.|
|STEP 2: Extend your hands upward and straighten your elbows without locking them. Bend them to return to the starting position.|
The number of repetitions (reps) and sets you should do will depend on both your strength and skill level. It is important that you use weight that is heavy enough to perform the desired number of reps and sets for your skill level while using good form. Try to increase the weight you lift by 5 – 10% as you increase your Fitness level. Depending on your Fitness goals, you may maintain certain weight and reps rather than increase them to build more strength or muscle.
Whether you prefer working with Free Weights, Weights on Gym Machines or just with Your own Body Weight, the important thing to do is to start realistically and keep at it – at all costs.